TriMech – Tough Conversations
“We’ve been using Sandler since 2002–about 18 years. And our best rep would say it helped him get him a third of his business. He would say if he didn’t do that, he’d lose a third.”
Bill Ripol, Sales Manager, TriMech
Everybody wants to grow quickly, but not everybody can grow like they’re in Silicon Valley. Here’s how we helped one client steadily achieve 50x growth.
About 18 years ago, around 2002, we were probably a $5 million company, maybe not even that much– maybe $2 million. And now we’re a $100 million dollar company. We had seven reps when I started; now we have 100.
I think you need to decide what it is you want to do–and then how you have to get there. Like Dr. J, Julius Erving, said, “It took me years to become an overnight success.” It’s like athletic discipline: adhering to a standard, holding people accountable. It takes process and consistency, and it’s going to be slow.
When I started out, we were inconsistent in our forecasting and we were inconsistent in our methodology. And none of us were having tough conversations that give you a true vision of the sale opportunity. When I look back, well, we weren’t doing –I know I wasn’t doing– those things.
In 2006, I became our first sales manager. And we started acquiring our biggest competitors in 2014.
So we acquired the biggest competitor in the southeast, and we had to integrate their people as well as their managers. Then we acquired another two companies in Boston and all the managers had to integrate.
We knew we needed to be really consistent about how we were all doing things–almost like a manager’s playbook that said this is what we’re going to do for the managers going forward.
So we go to the Sandler conference to be a lot more consistent with how we employ the different mindsets, behaviors, and techniques with our salespeople.
At a lot of sales training, they say, “this is the recipe for success,” but it never gets down to the details like, do these following things using this language to help you get through the hard parts. And Sandler really does.
The message is, you have to be ready to try things you’re not comfortable with. And we’re going to give you the tools and the language to do that. But first, you’re just going to have to do it because we think it’s the right way to go. You might not believe it yet. But once you try it a few times, you’re going to get really brave and confident you’re going to do this all the time, because it works.
I had skepticism about all of it, but I started getting a lot more successful. Sandler took me personally from 400,000 GP to 750,000 in a year by just really adhering to the system. Once you see it’s successful, you’re like: I’m doing this because it works.
We’ve been using Sandler since 2002–about 18 years. And our best rep would say it helped him get him a third of his business. He would say if he didn’t do that, he’d lose a third.
To the person who says, “This all sounds great, but how on earth am I going to change a culture of a whole company?” I would just say it takes a process and consistency and it’s going to be slow. For a while. The movement is going to be slow, but you’ve got to get your best people involved right away. Our founder always said, “I’m not a good manager, so I have to find good people because I’m not going to manage well.” So, if we were already pretty good, and we’re hiring good people, then they’re going to use it and they’re going to employ it, and we’re going to grow.
Even as a sales manager who has a 100 reps, has got to hit this number, you have to take the leap. You have to have some discipline. You just have to say: this is gonna be hard and want to do it.
We’ve been working with Sandler all this time, many, many years. Every month we have a call or a live meeting with our sales trainer, and that’s a significant expense. But it’s an investment into the salesforce. Our sales training is a differentiator because most companies will do a one session sales training, or once a year sales training, and we’ve done it consistently for 18 years.
If we hadn’t had this sales training, I would say we would probably be 30 to 40% less productive. So we’d probably be a $60 million company or maybe a $70 million company. The Sandler process has allowed us to gain a third, if not more. It makes you a lot more successful.
We had 100 people in Cancun last week–salespeople, significant others, as well as engineers who’ve earned accolades. We’re in Mexico all hanging out together, celebrating our success. And that’s what Sandler methodology does.
Sales is really hard. You have to do things that nobody else wants to do, and you have to take rejection so much. Sandler has training that is supported by tactics and behaviors learned over time. It’s helped us get through those hard parts so that we can have success.
Sandler has training that is supported by tactics and behaviors learned over time. It’s helped us get through those hard parts so that we can have success.
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