October 03, 2023

Crux-Xcelerate pivots with key hire, fueling growth for local businesses through six-month sales curriculum

For Immediate Release

Kansas City, Mo. – In most organizations, sales and marketing clash in conflict. One local company has pivoted to unite both sides of the house to drive business growth.

Crux-Xcelerate (Crux-X) combines sales and marketing acumen to develop sales performers, drive results and accountability, and fuel revenue growth for its clients. Through its six-month curriculum, Crux-X helps sales teams build processes from the ground-up by identifying gaps and inconsistencies and then giving teams the tools they need to become a trusted advisor and close deals.

“Businesses grow when sales and marketing consistently align,” said Melea McRae, co-founder and CEO of Crux-X, the sister company of the “un-agency,” Crux KC. “We’re eliminating the silos that inhibit business growth through full-funnel sales and marketing strategies, widening the top-of-funnel to accelerate growth for our clients.”

McRae co-founded Crux-X with Crux KC investor and board of advisor Rick Kahle—SVP at Alliant Insurance Services and former president of Lockton’s Kansas City Employee Benefits Office—in 2019, providing fractional sales support to grow and cultivate sales pipelines. By listening to their clients, they realized a need to reinvent the model, shifting from outsourced sales to a sales coaching engagement that focuses on developing the sales team, establishing KPIs, creating a sales process playbook, and offering one on one coaching to individualize the training.

An infusion of capital in 2021 from two key investors—Wayne Powell (President & CEO of iBossWell, Inc. and former executive with Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City) and Kerri Reisdorff (shareholder with Ogletree Deakins)—helped put into motion a shift in the business model. The two saw a potential in fractional sales as a concept, and after listening to clients, the Crux-X team decided to build a new framework.

This shift included a key hire in Chief Sales Officer John Hall, VP of Marketing for ZoomGrants and Founder & CEO of GetRecruited24/7. Hall formerly served as a VP/GM with Madison Square Garden and as a senior executive with the NFL, NBA and NHL. Hall has helped companies ranging from Fortune 500 organizations to small local businesses in creating strategies that enhance personal and professional enrichment.

“As a motivational speaker with a passion for supporting and coaching teams, this role was a perfect fit,” Hall said. “Sales training often misses the mark because it’s so focused on closing the deal. By leaning into emotional intelligence, we can empower salespeople to overcome doubt, build relationships, and ultimately, sell in a way that aligns with organizational values and reflects positively on the brand.”

The Crux-X belief system is rooted in the power of staying positive, analyzing the sales function through three filters: people, process and pitch. Engagements begin with a sales audit and a personality assessment called INSIGHT Inventory, which helps salespeople identify their strengths and areas where they may need to flex to better communicate with their internal team and prospects. From there, Crux-X dives into personal brand and networking, building the pipeline and sales playbook, guidance for overcoming objections and closing the deal, and then tools for onboarding, retention and client compounding.

Julie Towner, CEO of Towner Communications, reached out to McRae when she heard about the new curriculum, interested in coaching for her team and solidifying a concrete sales process.

“Our engagement with Crux-X helped us in establishing a sales playbook which has become a foundational piece to our internal sales process,” Towner said. “The combination of coaching, motivational exercises and sales techniques brought a new energy to our team. We are excited and look forward to the continued training from Crux-X and how it affects our bottom-line.”

A 2020 study by Southern New Hampshire University found sales team training can have an ROI of up to 353%. Whether it’s discomfort in discussing money or difficulty recovering from rejection, Crux-X determines where sales teams need the most support, establishes key performance indicators, and then educates using a phased curriculum with customized coaching and mentorship throughout.

“It pays to develop your sales team,” McRae said. “By aligning sales techniques with our vast expertise in marketing, we’re helping sales teams understand that aligning with marketing can be the winning formula for business growth and their success.”


About Crux-Xcelerate

Founded in January 2019, Crux-Xcelerate combines sales and marketing acumen to develop sales performers, drive value and accountability, and fuel sustainable revenue growth for your organization through a six-month customized curriculum. Moving forward requires a little speed, and smart business leaders know when to put the pedal down. Learn more at

About the author: Crux KC is a Kansas City marketing firm (and the city’s first “un-agency”) that merges executive-level marketing and business strategy to provide a simple, smart and affordable outsourced marketing solution for clients.

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