Sales and marketing professionals are often referred to as the lifeblood o...Read More
Beware the Contract You Never Signed
Beyond the Ballot Box
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From Concept to Production
On the Job
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The College of Hard Knocks
The Right Financing
Sales and marketing professionals are often referred to as the lifeblood of a company’s success. In our inaugural SAMY awards program, we celebrate the sales and marketing gurus who have had a direct, measurable impact on their company’s bottom line. From the sales pros who masterfully close the deal to the marketing experts who strategically develop and manage a company’s image, these professionals are the key bridge between a business and its current—and potential—customers. Join Utah Business as we applaud the sales and marketing professionals who make business happen.
Vice President of Sales and Marketing | Barco, Inc.
When David Janke joined Belgium-based Barco, Inc. in 2003, he found himself at the helm of a brand-new manufacturing division with no business in the pipeline. More than 100 employees sat idle in the Logan, Utah factory, waiting for work to come in. Janke focused his efforts on restructuring and retraining sales force and, within three years, the business had grown to $45 million in annual revenue.
Now, Janke serves as Barco’s vice president of sales and marketing, where he is challenged to grow a business focused on military flight simulation and heavily dependent on U.S. defense spending. Key customers, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing and L3 Communications, are facing “draconian” defense budget cuts. “In 2010 and 2011, we introduced new products and grew total sales by 20 percent despite losing about 50 percent of our former business that was based on old technology,” says Janke. “We are now positioned well for further double-digit growth in 2012, even in the current economic slowdown.”
Director of Demand Generation | Allegiance, Inc.
A self-described “number junky,” Matthew Bowman picks apart hard data to drive up leads for Allegiance, Inc. Bowman instituted a lead nurturing program with an algorithm that uses 15 data points to score, qualify and rank leads. Through his efforts, the company’s quarterly lead count grew from 1,200 to more than 8,000 in 2009—and the cost per lead fell 44 percent.
In 2010, Bowman originated 81 percent of new client revenues and 69 percent of all revenues for Allegiance, and the average lead-to-conversion ratio improved from 1.4 percent to 3.8 percent.
“The best and highest-compensated sales professionals in most industries don’t rely on gimmicks or high pressure tactics,” he says. “The best sales executives take the time to thoroughly understand the customer’s needs and how to solve them, [are] persistent enough to learn the political power play between the different decision makers, and…develop the ability to break the solution down into simple, easy-to-understand terms.”
Senior SEM Strategist | OrangeSoda
Justin Atkin is proof that not every salesperson is born. Though he started his career in customer service, Atkin quickly caught the attention of managers because of his high retention rates and happy clients. Though hesitant to move to sales, his managers persuaded him to take the leap—and he’s never looked back.
Today Atkin works at OrangeSoda, where he helps clients, mostly small business owners, with strategies to increase their online presence. Atkin says his main goals are simply to be the top sales consultant and to always do his best. The key to success, he says, is to lay everything on the line and always be honest.
“Don’t be intimidated. I was intimidated myself. But [sales] is just dealing with people one on one. If you like talking with people, it’s honestly the best job,” Atkin says. A little competitive spirit also doesn’t hurt, he adds. A good salesperson has a strong drive to always do better.
VP and Director of Training and Business Development | Bank of American Fork
Ken Burnett heads a sales team that develops new business for Bank of American Fork. In 2010, due to the tumultuous banking environment, he was tasked with shifting the team’s focus from gaining new depositors to gathering loans from new and existing business customers.
Through realigning the department’s compensation plan, marketing approach and sales strategy, Burnett helped his team achieve 193 percent growth in business loans through the third quarter of 2011, compared with all of 2010. The team increased new customers by 65 percent, and it created a new loan product that, after only three months, accounts for 10 percent of the bank’s total production.
Strong customer relationships are the biggest reward for Burnett, who says, “it doesn’t become about sales for those customers; it instead is about a real partnership between two community-based businesses helping each other become successful…the business development team and the loan officers we work with actually take pleasure in knowing that we are helping our communities grow.”