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I Need a Sales Executive! If you find yourself saying that, you have come to the right place.

There’s a number of reasons a company of any size would need a sales executive for additional expertise.

Whether you are looking to bring in someone to oversee sales (other than you) for the first time or need an outside perspective to look at the sales process and assess the current organization, bringing in an interim executive or management consultant can be a great way to quickly address the need and keep the focus on results without committing to long term overhead costs. At Cerius, we have seen the strategic use of an Interim Sales Executive include:

  • Revenue and Profit Improvement
  • Sales Force Automation
  • Channel Management
  • Sales Force Effectiveness
  • Customer Loyalty and Management
  • Pricing Strategies
  • Sales and Market Opportunity Profiling
  • Compensation Strategies
  • Team Development and Structure

As we mentioned, the situations for bringing in outside expertise can be limitless.  Here’s a few of the most common ones we see from clients at Cerius, how they were addressed and the types of results the client experienced:

Large Healthcare provider
Sales Strategist & Change Management Consultant, 12 month project

Situation

  • Company had a commanding market share
  • Enjoyed significant growth in a single state market
  • Faced with massive disruption caused by health care reform (ACA)
  • New competitors, dramatic changes in behavior of major competitors
  • Sales platform not adequate to serve rapidly changing needs

Implementation

  • Integrated effective change management techniques providing transparency
  • Established a new agile & proactive organizational structure
  • Developed role clarity, standards and accountability
  • Designed and deployed a cross-functional, cross-enterprise sales strike team
  • Transformed enterprise into a culture where everyone is responsible for

Results

  • 12% increase in membership in one year
  • Largest group addition
  • Largest member increase year ever
  • Company organization and culture adjusted so everyone is part of the sales process
  • Ask Paul for the increase in sales amount as I think it was significant

Small Manufacturing in the Semi-Conductor industry
Part-time Vice President of Sales, 2.5 days/week, 2.5 months

Situation

  • High dollar product ($1M+)
  • General Manager recently left and no current sales leadership
  • No pipeline
  • One order in backlog
  • Long sales cycle
  • Minimal marketing collateral
  • No sales processes

Implementation

  • Established sales processes and trained both internal sales reps and independent field reps
  • Created marketing collateral including website redesign and customer references
  • Created sales plan and immediate implementation including customer profiling, prospect lists, new product plan, sales forecasting, sales presentations and customer visits
  • Implemented sample analysis tracking

Results

  • Pipeline grew from nothing to 35 within first 3 months
  • Prospects and pipeline expected to exceed revenue plan by 7.5%
  • Moved up new product introductions to provide additional 10% of unplanned revenues

Medium manufacturing division of Technical Equipment within a large global company
Interim Director of Sales, 4-5 days/week, 2.5 months

Situation

  • Director of Sales out on 3 months leave
  • Company recently purchased experiencing cultural differences with parent company
  • Lack of leadership in sales department
  • Large variances in clients with difficulty in prioritization
  • Long selling cycle
  • Technical product with few resources in large geographic region

Implementation

  • Sales process defined
  • Prioritization of pipeline
  • Pipeline established with tracking ability at corporate level
  • Identified clients nearest to close with progress made
  • Implemented “strategic selling” to close quicker
  • Helped corporate and regional sales people understand process, strategy and prioritization of clients to optimize available resources

Results

  • Closed $3M deal
  • Bridged cultural gap between European parent company and US company
  • Prevented high potential for turnover in sales department

Large retail/insurance company
Interim Sr. Vice President of Sales, 5 days/week, one year

Situation

  • Purchased by two private equity firms
  • New CEO brought in at time of investment
  • VP of Sales position open for a year, CEO & executive team stretched covering open position
  • Sales continuing to decline with worsening recession
  • Desire to complete key sales restructuring projects while searching for new key executive to the team

Implementation

  • Restructured staffing models
  • Redefined sales compensation
  • Rolled out a store-in-a-box concept
  • Store level performance a priority
  • Selling process defined and implemented for customer retention, renewals, new business and add-on business

Results

  • $3.3 million annualized payroll savings
  • 20% increase in year-over-year revenue run rate
  • 24-point improved hit rate for online sales productivity
  • Transition in permanent Sr. VP of Sales to ensure no gap in leadership and helped preserve continuity and momentum

Small Manufacturer of industrial/heavy duty equipment
Part-time Vice President of Sales, 2 days/week, 5.5 months

Situation

  • Company did not have a strong sales organization or formalized processes
  • Increasing customer service issues
  • Turnover in sales management & sales positions
  • Heavy turnover in distribution network
  • Wasn’t realizing financial growth necessary to support the infrastructure in place
  • Everyone reported to CEO
  • Little differentiation between inside & outside sales teams

Implementation

  • Established new job descriptions for inside & outside sales for clarity
  • Defined outside sales territories and restructured sales department to reflect them
  • Hired and trained replacement as full time Sales Manager (rather than expensive VP of Sales or equity BD partner)
  • Set-up committees to interface with sales & manufacturing to improve customer service delivery

Results

  • Customer service rating increased from 2.5 to 4.5 out of 5 = average to extraordinary
  • Sales up 24% with no additional hires/positions with increasing profitability
  • No turn-over within sales & customer service division during assignment
  • CEO enjoyed 3 vacations during assignment and now takes every Friday off to spend with family

Though no two companies and situations are the same, we find there are often common themes within organizations and at Cerius, we know how to find the right expertise to address the need and provide results.  If you have more questions about interim executives and management consultants click here some of the most commonly asked questions and answers.

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