The Naked Truth About Sales Programs: When Your ROI Has Nowhere to Hide

Cari DeVille-Wilbe r VP, Growth & Strategy

Cari DeVille-Wilber
VP, Growth & Strategy

In real estate, it’s all about location. In marketing, it’s all about measurement. Flashy engagements may get all the social bragging rights but most clients are interested in concrete data, and above all: sales. I'm talking about actual financial transactions, not an impression or hashtag mention, but a bottom line number. Now, I know you may be thinking: sales only happen online. I beg to differ.

Over a decade ago we trialed a sales program thinking: how different from marketing could it be? Turned out it was extremely different, yet with our marketing brains, we were extremely good at it. What started as our trial in the sales world soon manifested into our taking on several brands’ full-fledged sales programs. Today we stand on top of impressive year over year numbers that have nowhere to hide. We cite sales lifts that are the direct result of dollars into our clients’ pockets. We rock sales programs and I’m about to tell you why we’re so good at it.

The Naked Truth About Sales Programs:

Before I release our secret sauce, I should note that not everyone can do this. I don’t mean to sound pompous but, in the same way that sales numbers have nowhere to hide, neither do novices. I only know this because we were novices when it came to sales programs once too. We knew a slow start was key, so we took to the streets to gain cred. We were out there doorhanging and flyering, facilitating lawn intercept events (when we’d set-up a low-key table stand in someone’s yard, with his/her consent of course—to build a rapport with an entire neighborhood), knocking doors, procuring permits, and learning through true interactions what worked with customers and what didn’t. We then cross referenced our learnings with our marketing expertise.

Making it Rain.

Our trick? Relationship building. It’s how you close the sale, and it’s how you keep your target from running the other direction. The slow start must begin with the salesperson. It may sound counterintuitive. Especially when the mantra in the sales world is, “ABC: always be closing.” So, we learned how to ABC while building a relationship. Ditching the traditional job description, training program, and management technique for sales people, we instead engaged a hybrid model: part brand ambassador, part closer. Part marketing guru, part savvy sales expert. We then developed a training and management methodology to enhance not only our relationship with our talent, but with the consumer too. Perhaps it’s best explained with a metaphor. Consider our strategy as if it were in the high school dating world. We don’t aim to be the bad boy who gets all the girls immediately (and then breaks their hearts), we’re the best friend character, the one who gains the girls’ trust. We’re the one they choose—and the one they stick with long term.

These Numbers Don’t Lie.

We’ve been around nearly thirty years and in that time we’ve facilitated sales programs for clients like LEGO, PlayStation, Verizon Wireless and Verizon Telecom, and Frontier communications. In 2010, we were awarded a trial program in one region with Verizon Telecom. Within a year. we won the rest of the regions and we’ve been managing the business since. We’ve produced a programmatic sales lift more than 50% year over year, and we’ve sold more than 500,000 units program to date. In 2016 Frontier Communications acquired the California, Florida, and Texas markets from Verizon Telecom and kept us as their sales program vendor. We’ve produced a 27% sales lift since but we won’t stop there, this year’s goal is nearly twice that number.

ROI Hide & Seek

Numbers simply have nowhere to hide in a sales program. You’re either up or you’re down—and we’ve always been up. If you want to add more to your bottom line, consider our bottom line: our strategy works.

Let’s Talk:

Interested in seeing our results in action? Give me a call (312) 784-1702 or drop me a note and let’s chat!

David Rothkopf