CASE STUDY: LIFETOUCH

Growing Sales Through Common Language

Lifetouch Sandler Testimonial Logo
Partnering with Sandler has raised the level of people who are coming into our organization, and it's raised the bar for the people who are performing in our organization. 
Johnny Grant, VP Sales Schools, Lifetouch
'Lifetouch

The Story

Over three and a half years ago, I moved into a new role as Vice President of Sales. During that time, LifeTouch had consistent challenges growing organic, profitable revenue. I had a diverse sales organization with 650 sales pros across the United States and Canada. We didn’t have a way to manage our teams with a consistent playbook. Every few years for over 20 years, we would try something out of the box, something different, but we weren't moving the dial. We really didn't have true sales accountabilities and disciplines, and it was showing in our end results.

We talked about being world-class all the time, but we weren’t there yet. We were really good at what we do, but we weren't really good at telling that story. Our organization sells to principals and superintendents in school districts. We provide photography services, portraits of students and staff members, and school ID cards.

That means for a lot of our sales meetings, we’re going to the principal’s office. And I don't care who you are, the first time you walk into a school to sell something and you're going to see the principal? It’s hard not to feel a bit like a child. It can really change the dynamic like you’re not at the same level as the decision-makers you’re dealing with.

We were not experts at sales training and sales development, and we had been trying to do everything homegrown. It just really hadn't been working. I mean, everyone knows what goes into sales. You can pick up many books about sales basics, such as role-plays, ride alongs, one-on-one coaching, but we really didn't know what good looks like and how to be consistent across the organization.

We started looking for a partner to help us develop sales accountabilities, sales disciplines, cadence, culture. We interviewed several different companies, like Dale Carnegie’s. I had some people on my team that were so passionate about Sandler that I was actually really skeptical. My feeling was almost, is this too good to be true?

But then I attended the Sandler summit three years ago, in a breakout session they talked about several of the things that I knew we were missing—pre-call planning, feedback assessment, upfront agreements, and equal business stature—all things that our sales organization needed.

When we started with Sandler I knew if I didn't have leader engagement on the ground level, it wouldn’t be effective. So, the first leadership cohort that went through was the top 20% of our leaders. We got such positive feedback from that group. This is the first time we've had a sales training where we're getting so many people asking to come.

For a sales leader who's just trying to get through the quarter and doesn't have time for this, I would say take the time. Developing your team and the talent around you is going to lead to better results. Investing in talent is how you are going to win. It's an investment we should definitely be making every day. You can have the best product in the world. But if you're in a competitive market, and your competitors are investing in the right people, the right process and systems, they're going to win.

Partnering with Sandler has raised the level of people who are coming into our organization, and it's raised the bar for the people who are performing in our organization.

It feels incredibly good because we're changing a long-standing company's culture, one with 650 million in revenue, and really getting it to be a world-class sales organization that's continuing to evolve and improve every day.

It feels incredibly good because we're changing a long-standing company's culture, one with 650 million in revenue, and really getting it to be a world-class sales organization that's continuing to evolve and improve every day.

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