top of page

7 Questions on Leadership with Yury Larichev

Name: Yury Larichev

Title: President

Organisation: Larichev Consulting

Yury brings 20+ years of Software/Technology/SaaS sales management experience. He has served as GM running SMB Global Sales in the Global Microsoft team, SVP Sales in Parallels, President in Acronis, CEO in Acumatica, and CRO in Wallarm. Yury can help/advise SaaS companies on GTM design, ICP assessment, team target setting and forecasting methodology, Sales KPIs, and Sales Operations.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Yury's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

The most challenging part of every sales management job I ever had was expectations management. Regardless of the company size or particular software category, top management and shareholders expect you to produce better results: constantly and steadily. I am OK with challenging targets (that is a part of the sales profession :) but always build a solid growth projection model to address growth levels with predictability and clear resource dependencies. I would say that managing growth expectations in a Startup is the most difficult one: you always have limited resources and too many unknown factors to deal with. It Gets easier with larger company sizes and more established businesses.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I spent all my career in Technology Sales. Started with PC hardware distribution straight out of College (Moscow Technical University @94), and did a Financial MBA (MFM) in my late twenties. Focus on numbers, KPIs tracking ability, and connecting it with Sales Execution - those were the main factors that elevated my career up the management chain.

I was lucky to meet great mentors in my early career: being the CEO of Unicum Group (Casino Equipment Manufacturing and Distribution) and Managing country Regional and Channel sales at Microsoft Russia. I have learned a ton about business mechanics, team development, and (most importantly) about myself. Moving to the USA from Russia 15 years ago with Microsoft for a Global SMB sales role changed my life and opened a truly global experience for my next career steps. Most of my global network is still from my Microsoft days.

I left Microsoft in 2012 for a Startup (Acumatica) CEO opportunity and had 3 Startup and 2 midsize companies global Sales Management roles since then. 2 exits and many pricelists experiences with the “highs and lows” of a Startup life.

I am at another career crossroads now, building my consulting business. It will allow me to master and continue doing what I love the most: growing sales and building successful sales teams. And I will be doing it now on my terms: without corporate politics and artificial deadlines.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I start my day by waking up at 6 am. I have created a healthy routine through the years, carving out a “me” time in the mornings during the week working days. I have learned from my former colleague that jumping on my work emails before 9 am does not help me fix urgent problems - it just eats my morning hours. So, I prefer to bring my daughter to school, go to the GYM, get breakfast, and start working fresh by 9 am. Of course - that's in case I am not traveling, and I am used to spending 30-40% of my time on the road.

I always try to wrap up my work days by 7 pm, cannot say that I am very successful in it. Sometimes (and quite often), I am catching up with emails and projects during late evenings, after a day of meetings.

I always reserve Saturdays and most of my Sundays as family activities time. I have built a habit of planning my following week's calendar on Sunday evening. That creates me a “comfort” control feeling and sets all my life on my weekly calendar.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

I have learned from my first manager the essence of being brief and being able to put your thoughts and problem suggestions in 1 pager document. We all are swimming in the ocean of information every day, so the ability to make a good summary where you can explain the problem and offer a solution (proving it with numbers) in a 1-page document is a critical skill set to success.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

I always keep on reading several business books at once. So, it's really hard to say what are the ones which made the most impact…. So, let me put 2 great book references here.

Great book on sales leadership (talking about Enterprise Direct Sales here): The Qualified Sales Leader: Proven Lessons from a Five Time CRO - by John McMahon.

Great book on time management: Four Thousand Weeks. Time Management for Mortals - by Oliver Burkeman. Both are very practical and you can start practicing new thoughts and ideas the next day.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Most important leadership advice? That's easy: never delegate or compromise on your team's quality. Always hire your new team members yourself. Hire smart people you can learn from. Treat them with respect. That will create a lifetime bond, trust, and friendship you can carry through many years.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

I have joined Microsoft Russia back in 2006. I was lucky to join one of the best management teams in a fast business growth phase, having grown regional sales from 13 to 26 offices with 3X revenue growth. Then, the 2008 global economic crisis happened. That harmed sales dynamics, product mix, and partner's performance. I had to make cuts in my team, both on people and budget. So, 2008 year was invaluable for my career growth and learnings as a manager: I had to build very detailed growth models, understand every single revenue gear component, and explain it well. There is a famous quote from Paul Romer, a Stanford economist, who said that “crisis is a terrible thing to waste”. I fully agree with him - your “crisis management” experience is a key to your future career steps and ability to navigate Startup sales with resilience and tenacity like no other.

bottom of page