I hope you enjoy my August Newsletter
Published: Tue, 08/15/23
Published: Tue, 08/15/23
Bob Robinson, Jr., and his mechanical-engineer father, Bob Robinson, Sr., came up with the idea for a product the world truly needed 25 years ago: a “no-touch” restroom cleaning machine. Their company, Kaivac, is a Hamilton, OH-based manufacturer of cleaning machines. Hamilton is a suburb of Cincinnati, OH.
“We were on our hands and knees, crawling around the bathroom,” recalls Bob, Jr. “It was disgusting. We said, ‘There’s got to be a better way.'”
Through hard work and dedication, the Robinsons created the KaiVac to help solve that initial problem in public restrooms. Over the years, they grew the idea to create dedicated machines to clean kitchen floors, hallway floors, and grocery displays. Beyond its bathroom cleaning technology, it has expanded into floor cleaning and spill response machines and has 18 patents with 16 pending.
Along with growing their manufacturing capabilities, they also grew their sales capabilities. They adopted a hybrid strategy of selling through distribution and selling directly to key customers. Their direct team, under the leadership of Bob Robinson, Jr., who had taken on the role of VP of Sales, closed many enviable customers with massive deals, including Walmart, Kroger, and Target.
They realized that they needed to step up their sales professionalism after having a down year during COVID after having a record-breaking year the year before. They wanted to grow to $75 million in annual revenue within three years and a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) of $1 billion in annual revenue within 20 years.
Bob Jr. says Kaivac is just getting started. “At 20 to 25 years in business, you’re at an inflection point where you’ve got resources, tenure, and history and have been through ‘adolescence,'” he says. “Now is the chance to build a professionalized organization.”
They contacted New Sales Expert LLC as the nation was coming out of the global pandemic, but before all the supply chain problems had paused. New Sales Expert LLC is a fractional vice president of sales consultancy. Sean O’Shaughnessey, the CEO of New Sales Expert, is aligned with SalesXceleration and has 38 years of experience in sales and sales management.
According to Sean, “Kaivac is a joy to work with. They are the shining star of Hamilton, OH, and Butler County. They had so much raw potential when I walked in the door; all I had to do was to focus their energy and enthusiasm on working smarter and just a little harder.”
Building an organization with a heart
Kaivac had a great culture to build on to make a great sales culture. Before Sean showed up, the company leadership had already developed their One-Page Strategic Plan and their “Why?” statement that reflects the owners’ Christian faith: “To glorify God by using KAIVAC as an instrument for Good.”
In addition to the “Why?” statement, they had drafted an acronym called FIGS that conveys the “heart” of the company. FIGS—which appears on signs that hang on the factory floor and in break rooms—stands for
The company uses the first three letters of its name–KAI–to inspire the team’s thinking and actions. These letters stand for inspiring phrases such as: “Keep At It,” “Keep Always Improving,” “Keep Attempting the Impossible,” and “(creates) Kick-Ass Inventions.”
Prioritizing net income and growth
Sean’s first change was to make a compensation plan that motivated the sales team to sell bigger deals and to sell them quickly. Kaivac implemented a 50/50 plan in concert with defined territories to keep the Key Account salespeople focused on the goal of more significant and profitable orders.
After the motivation component was in place, it was time to help the team learn how to sell big deals more repeatedly. The big deals of the past had been challenging to work on and, while very profitable, had been disruptive to close. Sean encouraged the company to read John McMahon’s book, “The Qualified Sales Leader,” and with that tome as inspiration, quickly deployed MEDDPICCC to help them qualify deals.
MEDDPICCC by itself is not enough. The company had already licensed Salesforce, one of the highest-rated CRMs on the market, but Sean put MEDDPICCC into the various stages of the sales process to ensure that the salespeople knew all the required information about a big deal. Sean also created dashboards within Salesforce to track deal progress at the management level. The company implemented Sales Plans for Key Accounts and the Power Matrix to document the most influential people in the customer’s decision-making process.
The very first big deals that the company found after Sean started to help them also benefited from the Decision Timeline. The Decision Timeline is a tool to allow the sales team to walk through the entire decision-making process of the customer to understand all of the steps required to make a significant investment decision. It allowed frank and honest conversations to take place with the prospect as the team worked to close the largest deal in the company’s history to date.
Time to run on their own
As with most of the assignments with New Sales Expert, LLC, the goal is to allow the company to run independently. Bob Robinson Jr. was the company’s VP of Sales. Still, he needed to shed those responsibilities to help run the entire company. To finish the transition, Bob and three of his leaders took SalesXceleration‘s Certified Sales Leadership course delivered by Sean O’Shaughnessey.
The Certified Sales Leader (CSL) designation is the country’s most comprehensive sales leadership certification program offered. CSL leadership training and certification will prepare you with the analytical, tactical, and strategic sales management skills needed to drive revenue growth now…and into the future. CSL training expands the skill set of a Sales Manager by providing coaching, techniques, and tools to lead a successful sales team.
All four Kaivac leaders passed the CSL test. One of them, Mike Perazzo, was tagged to take over as Executive Vice President of Sales. According to Mike, “Sean is a master coach for helping shape sales process and methodology. Following his methods will help grow sales faster, transactionally, and strategically. Often a couple of pieces of the puzzle are missing, and Sean helps quickly identify them.
You have everything to gain by having Sean look at your current approach. He is a change agent and disruptive to the status quo. Pushing the pace and flow of deals is his sweet spot. I am a better sales leader because of my time with him.”
Sean O’Shaughnessey of New Sales Expert, LLC states, “Kaivac is a wonderful company. They have created a line of machines that gives pride to the workers in one of the toughest jobs in America – keeping things clean. They are focused on the success of their customers and their employees. They had all of the raw skills within their sales team to be a great sales organization; they only needed me to focus them on activities and techniques that allowed them to close bigger deals faster and at a higher profit level.”
“If anyone works in a clean building with clean restrooms and hard surface floors, they are either cleaning it with Kaivac technology or paying too much for that cleanliness,” Sean explains.
Revenue and profitability have grown since Sean helped Kaivac develop a higher level of sales professionalism. Recent results have shown a dramatic increase in revenue and profitability. The sales and revenue growth have allowed the entire family of Kaivac to prosper. The Robinsons have always considered their employees an extension of their family. The company’s prosperity is passed along to team members through a bonus structure for the whole company. It all fits into the spirit of Kaivac. Bob Jr. says, “Our organization was built to have heart.”
If you want to learn more about Kaivac, you can head to their website at www.Kaivac.com. You should also check out this video: The Story of Kaivac. Kaivac is on its way to outer space on revenue growth, and everyone should check out their entertaining Q3 kickoff video about the growth of Kaivac.
To learn more about Fractional Sales Management and how it can help your company, go to www.NewSales.Expert.
Change is inevitable, and small business owners must constantly adapt to stay ahead of their competition. While traditional consultants may offer valuable insights and recommendations, they often lack the hands-on commitment to implement these changes effectively. A consultant will write a report and presentation to advise management of required changes and then count on management to deploy the advice effectively. More than a report or playbook is usually needed to drive tangible results.
Enter the concept of a fractional executive. This innovative solution provides small businesses the strategic guidance and support they need to grow and evolve. In this blog post, we’ll explore the role of a fractional executive, discuss their benefits, and share tips for finding the right fit for your business.
A fractional executive is a seasoned professional who offers expertise and leadership on a part-time or project basis. These individuals often have extensive experience in their respective fields and can fill critical gaps in a company’s leadership team. From acting as a temporary CEO to guiding sales or financial strategies, fractional executives provide services tailored to your business’s unique needs.
The critical difference between a fractional executive and a traditional consultant lies in their level of commitment. While consultants often deliver a one-time report or set of recommendations, fractional executives are actively involved in the day-to-day operations of your business. They work closely with your team to implement changes, monitor progress, and adjust strategies as needed, ensuring that your business thrives in the long term.
Consultants can create beautiful reports using modern tools like Chat GPT. While a report generated by Chat GPT can provide valuable insights and recommendations for a business, it is crucial to recognize that such a report alone is insufficient to drive meaningful changes. To successfully implement and manage the recommended changes, businesses require a more hands-on and personalized approach that addresses their unique challenges and opportunities. A report can serve as an excellent starting point, but companies must invest in dedicated human expertise to ensure that the proposed changes are effectively integrated into their operations.
A Chat GPT report may be insufficient for driving change because it cannot fully account for the intricacies and nuances of each business. While AI-generated reports can be well-researched and informative, they may need a more profound understanding of company culture, team dynamics, and specific market conditions necessary to develop tailored strategies. On the other hand, a human expert can work closely with stakeholders, employees, and customers to gain a comprehensive understanding of the business’s unique needs and challenges, allowing them to develop and implement more effective change initiatives.
Additionally, change management requires ongoing support and guidance, which a Chat GPT report or an absentee consultant cannot provide. Implementing changes often involves overcoming obstacles, refining strategies, and addressing unforeseen issues that arise during the process. A human expert, such as a fractional executive, can provide the necessary support and adaptability to navigate these challenges and ensure the success of the change initiatives. By working closely with the business daily, they can monitor progress, identify areas for improvement, and make real-time adjustments to keep the change process on track.(more…)
Designing an effective sales compensation plan is critical to any successful sales organization. A well-crafted plan motivates your sales team, drives revenue growth, and aligns the interests of both the company and the sales representatives.
It’s essential to understand the impact of compensation on salespeople. Sales reps are highly motivated by money, and their income is directly tied to their performance. Incentives such as bonuses, commissions, and accelerators can all play a key role in driving sales performance. However, these incentives can have unintended consequences if not implemented correctly.
This blog post will explore various aspects of creating a successful sales compensation plan, including setting quotas, selecting base and variable pay, using accelerators, and employing rewards and contests. We’ll also discuss strategies for designing effective compensation plans for different types of sales roles and tips for continuously improving your compensation plan.(more…)
Fractional executives are experienced professionals who work part-time or on a project basis, providing expertise and guidance to help businesses achieve their goals. Often, small businesses need more resources and expertise, making it difficult for them to achieve growth and success. While hiring a full-time executive may not be feasible due to the costs involved, fractional executives can provide a cost-effective solution to this problem.
A fractional executive differs from a consultant, but the difference may confuse some. Typically, a consultant will provide advice and guidance, but they are separate from your company. A fractional executive works alongside your team, helps in company operations, and is responsible for the outcomes of those operations. They are an extension of your existing leadership team. In most instances, a fractional executive provides all of the responsibilities to your company as a full-time executive.
One of the most significant benefits of using fractional executives is cost savings compared to a full-time employee with a similar amount of experience. Hiring a full-time executive can be expensive. Fractional executives work on a part-time or project basis, meaning companies can save money by only paying for the services they need. Additionally, businesses can avoid the costs of recruiting, hiring, and training a full-time executive.
As explained in the FRACTIONALS UNITED BLOG, it is essential to explore the cost of an FTE (full-time employee) compensation plan compared to fractional monthly retainers. The data is eye-opening!
According to data gathered (March 2023) by Salary.com, the median (50th percentile) core compensation (salary+benefits*) for the following C-Suite leaders is as follows:
Bonus comp and equity cash totals were excluded from this comparison since both are variable compensation, only sometimes guaranteed. The average percentage offered was noted instead.
The average monthly retainer for fractional executives starts at around $5,000 and goes upwards to $15,000 per month. Retainers vary depending on the experience, scope of work, and level of hourly commitment per month (i.e., 25%, 50%, or 75% commitment to the team/company). The retainer may be higher if the professional has more years of experience, is in high demand, or if the organization is in a large metropolitan area.
If we assume that any given fractional executive discipline is $10,000 per month, then:
How do you compensate your salespeople?
In this episode, Kevin and Sean discussed the importance of setting appropriate sales goals for a company. They suggested starting with the end goal in mind and then working backward to set achievable but challenging targets. They also advise avoiding pitfalls such as not considering attrition or overstating possibilities when setting goals. Finally, they emphasize the importance of dedicating resources to new markets or initiatives to grow the business rather than only replacing lost customers.
You can subscribe to our podcast by searching in your favorite podcast player for “Two Tall Guys Talking Sales,” or you can listen to the embedded version here.
The following is a transcript of the podcast above. It has been sparsely edited to increase its readability, but many of the idioms and poor spoken grammar have been left in place. Fireflies.ai automatically generated the transcription, and, as capable as that product is, there are times when words are missed or the sentence structure is incorrectly interpreted. We have tried to catch all of these software misses, but we are confident that some still remain. The below text is provided for those that would rather read than listen to a podcast.
Hello, and welcome to episode two, not eight, of “Two Guys Talking Sales.” I’m one of your hosts, Kevin.
And I’m Sean.
We’re glad you’re here on this Two Guys Talking Sales episode.
This podcast tackles real sales issues, big and small, for salespeople selling situations and sales leadership. We’ve individually built successful sales careers around the problems and solutions in B-to-B selling, from software and services to manufacturing distribution. We have sold to and for many of the world’s most recognized brands as well as some you have yet to hear of. We know LinkedIn says this is a 30-minute time slot. Still, we’ll only take 15 minutes—nothing like under-promising and over-delivering. For roughly the next 15 minutes, we invite you into our world of experience. We’ll dig into one issue. You’ll have a solution should you encounter a similar situation in your career. Let’s dive in.
Sean, let’s set the stage.
This topic should be about setting your sales plan objectives for this year.
Setting objectives for the year. Like not being tongue-tied on a public broadcast. How about that?
At least you tried to plan ahead and had it written. Now that’s better than I did. I’m just winging it.
Our last episode was all about planning your year. Why not have a plan? Well, so you’ll know how you’re doing?
There you go.
Today, we will talk about how to determine company sales objectives. Yes, let’s do that.(more…)