Craig Vinje is the Chief Executive Officer of Orange Tree Screening, a market leading and premier provider of employment screening solutions to corporations across America.
Meeting Pivotal Advisors and Gary Braun
“We learned about Pivotal Advisors soon after moving an employee from Operations to Sales Management, which is a classic mistake. This was something new to our employee, and given the different skill set required, we told him to find someone to prepare him for the transition. He found Pivotal Advisors and started attending their Sales Leader Alliance roundtables. That’s how we met Gary Braun, and we soon decided to engage him as a consultant.”
Do We Have The Right Person?
“Gary worked with our new Sales Manager for three months. The purpose was two-fold: 1) to develop him, and 2) determine if he was the right person for the job. We had involved another consultant, with skills different that Gary’s, and asked them both if our new Sales Manager could double our sales. Both Gary and our other consultant said, ‘No, he will not be successful.’”
Plugging and Filling The Hole
“We asked Gary to ‘plug the hole’ by running our sales organization, and after 7 – 8 months, to write a detailed job description and a hiring profile for his replacement. Although our requirements for a Sales Manager are not unique, we needed to know exactly what was needed in our environment. We also like to hire from outside our industry to find flexible people without predisposed notions.”
“Since Gary had ‘been in the chair’ and knew our priorities, he steered us in the right direction. That was helpful, because a typical search firm may not have known enough to find the candidates that were right for us.”
“After we hired the new Sales Manager, Gary on-boarded and worked with him for three months. Gary also helped us hire an additional sales rep.”
8X Growth in Eight Years
“I’ve been here eight years, and in that time, we’ve grown from $2 million to $16 million in revenue. I don’t have a sales background, and needed really strong players in all of our sales positions. Gary has 15 years of sales and sales management experience. Because he knows the job, he really helped our company.”
“I’ve been running companies for 25 years and have learned that you can’t be all things to all people. When I started here, we had 1200 clients generating $2 million in revenue. We now have 300 clients and one of the best revenue to employee ratios in the business. Gary helped us define our focus. When he first came in he said, ‘You don’t know who your ideal clients are.’ which was correct.”
Finding Our Ideal Customers
“With Gary’s help, we have determined that corporations with 3,000 – 15,000 employees are our sweet spot. They also have to be keenly interested in technology, because of our data integration requirements. We don’t want clients who fax us employment applications.”
“We are also not the least expensive alternative. Excellent customer service and integration capability does not come cheaply. Our sales reps need to sell Value, not Price.”
Pipeline Full of Fluff
“To understand our sales pipeline, we use our CRM’s funnel report to identify where our prospects are in our 7 stages. When we started working with Gary, he analyzed our 5th to 6th stage prospects and told us it was 80% fluff. I always say, ‘Bad news doesn’t age like wine.’ I’d rather get the facts, which is what Gary gave us.”
I now meet with our sales reps once a month and go over their 5th and 6th stage prospects. These decisions usually happen within 15 – 45 days. That how I keep a handle on what’s coming in. Our Sales Manager works with our sales reps and focuses on our 1st to 4th stage prospects and keeps track of the related activities.
No Boilerplate Here
Gary did a really good job for us and I have referred him to several other companies. I’ve worked with consultants who are 90% fluff and come in with a boilerplate solution. Gary is very flexible. He figured out what our problems were, gave me the facts, and made suggestions. I took the best ones and made them happen.
He helped us to become a better company.