Professional Courtesy: These case studies are intended to illustrate the type of projects I take on and the work I do. They are NOT intended to be references. I provide those only after I decide to accept a project. I request that you do not contact these companies as I do not want to impose on them.
2012 – Present
Challenge: Expand existing business to reach national market.
Strategy: Create sales team capable of interacting with company owners and HR staff.
Results: 8 reps in first 2 months generating ongoing billable revenue already exceeding $2 Million annually.
Medical billing database.
2008 – Present
Challenge: Startup with first-to-market database product needs to establish a national sales team and capture the market. Database tells physicians the maximum allowable (for every possible “CPT” code) they can get insurers to pay.
Strategy: Convert to free model with sponsors.
Results: Recreated the sales process as a sponsorship model with the service free to end-users. The tool thus becomes an advertising medium for vendors wanting to reach physicians. First sponsors have been sold and the product is being made available as app on smart phones as well as online.
Marketing program for commercial insurance brokers.
2009 – Present
Challenge: Take a low-cost online service and find a way to viably market it.
Strategy: Convert to a sponsored marketing and lead-generation program.
Results: Created a sales process and guided product development to match. Program is rolling out nationally.
Decorative cement specialists for residential and commercial applications. Seffner, FL
Challenge: Company established since 1973 has over 4,000 installer/dealers with sales dropping in a down economy.
Strategy: Create a North American sales team to drive sales to installers and also train installers to use a more sophisticated sales process. Will also assist installers to implement systematic prospecting and marketing campaigns.
Results: Created an online marketplace whereby installers compete to attract reps. Program is rolling out nationally.
Financial investigative services for large institutional investment funds.
Challenge: Launch new service performing due diligence investigations of hedge funds on behalf of investors. Well known expert but new company.
Strategy: Collaborate on marketing to build brand. Create a sales process that positions service similar to an insurance policy. Build a virtual team of high-level account executives to do personal networking and also to systematically contact all possible prospects using a purchased database.
Results: Team established and accounts being added every month.
Online aerospace industry marketplace.
Challenge: Three companies merged to form a successful established online marketplace that now wants to expand fast to dominate the market.
Strategy: Create a virtual team to prospect and bring in new buyers and sellers. Strong emphasis on customer service and establishing a long-term relationship. Also introducing new advertising and other upgrade products. Market is worldwide.
Results: New project, launching recruiting efforts and assisting in product development.
Wall Street Reporter
Specialist investment industry media company.
New York City, NY
Challenge: Established 10 year old market-leading company wants to test much higher pricing strategy and also wants to consider transitioning away from W2 reps in one office to a national independent rep team to achieve market potential.
Strategy: Create a small high-level sales team of 5 reps capable of working with CEOs that want to increase their perceived market value (share price and valuation) to test new concepts.
Results: Engineered new sales process, created coherent pricing model, built website for recruiting, training, and support of sales team. Testing was completed satisfactorily with results confidential.
Wall Street Reporter
Specialist tax services company.
Challenge: Established 6 year old market-leading company with revenues in low to mid 8-figure range wants to grow into 9-figure range.
Strategy: Company has unique expertise in recovering unclaimed tax credits and benefits relating to R&D investments and exporting. Test a virtual direct sales team of high-end professionals capable of discussing complex financial issues directly with CEOs. Evaluate present successful sales process and enhance when possible.
Results: Recruited and trained over 60 reps. Created a sophisticated sales process documenting via a comprehensive website used for recruiting, training, and team support. Successfully completed testing phase of project and handed off to client for internal teams to operate long-term.
Online lawyer referral directory.
Challenge: Develop innovative directory product that enhances service to 1 Million consumers already visiting company’s website seeking help with legal issues. Maintain and enhance brand image, consumer trust and goodwill, that was earned over 35 year history.
Strategy: Crearted concept and proposed to CEO. Brought extensive previous experience developing lawyer referral programs to create a program meeting specific needs of client. Product research, development, and testing to create product that is a true win-win for both consumers and attorneys. Recruit, train, and manage an inside sales team and a distributed national IC team. Test and develop sales strategy and tactics. Create sales training manuals and policy guides.
Results: World-class product developed in record time in cooperation with company’s technical and marketing staff. Recruited and trained initial internal sales team. Achieved fast sales success. Recruited and trained 30 IC commission-only work-at-home reps in less than 3 months. Hundreds of attorney sales per month. Target is 25,000 customers and $2M revenue within 2 to 3 years. Two-year term completed and projected handed off to internal team.
Why did Internet Brands buy Nolo?
Page 1 Search Results
SEO and Internet marketing for small business.
Mill Valley, CA
Challenge: Startup with advanced technology to boost natural search rankings needed a fast sales team.
Strategy: Develop comprehensive marketing and sales strategy.
Results: Achieved sales results as forecasted with a team of 20 virtual reps.
Page 1 Search Results
Lawyer referral marketing program.
Challenge: Build sales team and reposition product.
Strategy: Convert business model to previously proven model but with significant enhancements to set new industry standard. Increase pricing significantly to afford sales team and ramp up marketing. Recruit, train, and manage an inside sales team.
Results: Developed significant product innovations. Recruited and trained initial sales team. Achieved fast sales success and ramping fast. Handed off project to a team member to become permanent VP Sales.
Real Estate Agent Referral Marketing Program
Palo Alto, CA
Challenge: Significantly expand sales and improve customer retention.
Strategy: Enhance business model and product features. Introduce new pricing plan to maximize revenues. Make sales calls to test. Recruit, train, and manage a sales team.
Results: Outsource project. Developed significant product innovations. Tested third-party referral networks and performed test sales calls to dial-in pricing and validate product changes. Recruited and trained appointment setter team to support outside sales team. Advised to refocus as more profitable lead generation business. Strategy was successful and lead to buyout by Reply, the dominant Internet lead generation company.
Legal referral website.
San Francisco, CA
Challenge: Come in as part of founding team to convert a failed business model (attorneys bid for clients) with only free beta-testers, to a viable model with paying customers. Get cashflow fast before company liquidates. Build and train sales team with virtually no budget.
Strategy: Adapt previously proven successful strategy from automotive space. Create pricing plans to maximize revenues. Implement an innovative no-risk guarantee. Make sales calls to test. Ramp by recruiting, training, and managing an all IC commission-only sales team – capable of selling high-level services to attorneys by phone. Not a task for the weak or meek.
Results: Within 8 weeks recreated business model and product focus, recruited and trained a 10 person sales team, developed a formal training program, and built sales to cashflow positive status with a budget of less than $2,000. Continued to ramp team to over 120 reps in 3 company offices (San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York), 50 reps working from home nationwide, and a prospecting call center in Bangalore. All of these reps were commission only. Also built the customer service team and assisted in creating an efficent operations department. This was done from the sales point-of-view to keep deals alive and upsell. Achieved $2M per month in sales in under two years. This was done with no venture funding, bank loans, or excuses – during historically difficult times, right after the dot.bomb dropped, while the MBA packed, vc-backed, wannabes crashed and burned all around. While they were auctioning off their equipment, laying off workers, and going back to Iowa to live in their parent’s basements, we were buying equipment (cheap), hiring fast, and moving into their San Francisco lofts ;).
Air freight exchange service.
Challenge: Create launch strategy for B2B air freight forwarder matching site.
Strategy: Develop and refine business model for salability, set pricing and test offers, pioneer sales efforts to determine optimum methods, build (recruit, train, manage) sales team and ramp-up region-by-region for national coverage within 12 months.
Results: Refined business model, reengineered website and added broadcast messaging technology, recruited reps and performed sales calls to test concept, pricing and offers.
Online auto parts ordering service.
Challenge: Find ways to drive business sign-ups and order share. Analyze and improve effectiveness of both outside (30) and inside (20) sales teams.
Strategy: Teach sales teams how to do business and get commitments and not to focus on mere product information and demos. Research competitor strategies and pricing models. Sales calls to parts distributor clients and service end-users to determine acceptance and get feedback. Develop sales collateral and presentation materials, scripts, call reporting forms, and other items. Develop events program process and materials. Rewrite scripts and initiate training program to measurably improve close ratios.
Results: Reoriented sales team and began training program. Immediate improvment in sales close ratios and customer adoption & usage of service.
Automotive service system manufacturer.
Los Angeles, CA
Challenge: Expand small company – develop national sales team. Niche market with no dominant player, poor product acceptance by retailer customers and consumers.
Strategy: Initial plan was for independent distributor network. Scrapped in favor of dedicated employee sales team. Extensive competitive research to develop sales strategy. Developed all sales collateral materials, presentation binders, and website. Outside calls to perfect a sales script. Encountered excessive resistance. Opportunity created to have large national equipment distributor take on product line (licensing and royalties).
Results: In course of project came up with a new technical solution. Researched patents (prior art) and filed for a broad-coverage patent (which was received in 2003, #6,663,718). Inititated negotiations for a distribution deal.
Automotive tool & diagnostic equipment.
San Jose, CA
Challenge: Develop methods for non-technical sales force (3,800 route van franchisees) to more effectively sell high-tech diagnostic products. Also assist with e-commerce strategy.
Strategy: Develop new high-tech multimedia sales tools and sales training program. Brainstorm e-commerce and new product marketing programs.
Results: Program accepted as viable and went into marketing tests.
Consumer referral program – certified auto repair.
Challenge: Outside sales calls to test market a new referral marketing program to service retailers. Unproven startup in a skeptical marketplace.
Strategy: Develop marketing program and all sales collateral materials (brochures, presentation binders, PowerPoint, website). Develop and refine scripts. Systematically obtain referrals on each cold call to as many as 40 other shops. Implement trade association sponsored Events program.
Results: Cold calls converted to 100% warm calls after only one week. Successful alliance with major trade association. Implemented a group presentation program at association chapter meetings throughout the state. Obtained a 70%+ close ratio on direct sales calls and 90%+ on group presentations. Got 125 signed orders (one year term) and checks ($250 to $500 to reserve place in program) in 3 months to successfully prove concept and obtain additional funding. Sales team was then ramped up successfully until company was sold.
JD Power CarClub
Internet automotive sales.
San Francisco, CA
Challenge: Create a B2B program to have local automotive product and service retailers refer their customers to CarClub to buy a new car (500,000+ prospects). One of the first “clicks to bricks” programs.
Strategy: Research and develop a realistic program that would appeal to the retailers and their customers. Direct sales calls to get feedback to shape program features and offer.
Results: Successfully developed program which was launched later (company needed time to get core business up to speed first). CarClub subsequently received a $50 Million investment from Ford and initiated an alliance with J.D. Powers. Ultimately raised over $500M and was one of the more spectacular but underreported flameouts of the dot.bomb era.
B2B industrial supply exchange site.
Challenge: Discover best field sales methods for a new industrial exchange site. This was one of the first success stories of the Internet era – over $30 Million per year in revenues with hundreds of paying customers.
Strategy: Develop field sales processes and scripts to ensure successful launch and market penetration.
Results: Successfully implemented test results and methods that were adopted companywide. Personally sold product in northern California market.
Enterprise human resources software.
San Mateo, CA
Challenge: Develop sales methods and get first customers for new software that scans resumes and performs intelligent searches.
Strategy: Created product literature. Developed sales process and successfully tested product feature and pricing acceptance.
Results: Project demonstrated that although the product performed well it had no real advantages in an overcrowded marketplace. Also, the company vastly underestimated the financial resources required. Company folded soon after the test period to focus on previous core business (technical recruiting).
Online wholesale (B2B) auto parts.
Simi Valley, CA
Challenge: Introduce new method for franchised car dealer wholesale parts departments to sell parts online to repair shop customers. System initially a dial-up BBS.
Strategy: Redesigned as Internet web and searchable database server system. After creating technology infrastructure, made outside sales calls and group presentations to dealer prospects. Showed how system could greatly enhance customer retention and acquisition. A unique competitive advantage over non-automated dealers that relied solely on phone ordering (lots of wasted time – busy signals, not in stock, mistaken orders).
Results: Project successfully demonstrated market viability and led to further investments to implement a new business division.
BBS (dial-up) systems design & marketing.
Challenge: Launch business to offer BBS (dial-up) systems and associated marketing consultation to businesses to provide new services to their customers.
Strategy: Convinced clients that they should upstage their competitors by offering 24 hour X 7 day access to sales and technical information.
Results: Successfully sold and implemented systems to real estate brokers (home listings), electronic distributors (engineering data sheets) and many more. Converted business to Sales Team 1 after the BBS industry was supplanted by the Internet, which began as graphical browsers (Mosaic) gain widespread acceptance and use.
CD-ROM automotive information systems.
El Grove, CA
Challenge: Introduce new concept – information on CD-ROM with a computer versus traditional books – for vehicle repair data and diagnostic procedures. System cost $16,000 (with 5 years support and quarterly updates) with lease payments of $400 a month. Customers were used to buying books once a year for around $400 total, a 12 to 1 price increase. Many business owners were computer-phobic. Company was a startup whereas book publishers have been around for many decades. Existing sales reps were trained to show all the features in hope of proving how much better and faster the system was. Problem was that the CD-ROMs were immensely incomplete with many year, make, and model vehicle info missing.
Strategy: Focus on long-term development of system, every quarterly update was in effect a new machine (all CD-ROMs replaced). In the meantime, company would fax info from a print library containing thousands of manuals – vastly more than any customer would have. Position device as a “CD player” that anyone could use – not as a PC. Also focus on new profit center ideas like printing out factory recommended maintenance schedules (30,000; 60,000; 90,000 miles) for every customer to upsell hundreds of dollars in needed services on a large number of work orders each month. Also, productivity gains could mean one more completed job each day. At $200 average this alone could add up to $4,000+ each month. This is a 10 to 1 payoff (ROI).
Last but not least – implemented an Events program whereby local parts stores would invite their best customers in to see the system. Scrapped the bribery compensation model ($500 for each unit sold) and instead appealed to their good business sense – if their shop customers can’t fix the increasingly complicated cars (technical information is required to do it) then who will buy their parts?
Results: 48% close ratio versus company average of 8%. Number one Rep out of over 300 for the year. Sold 11 systems in one month – quota was 2. Enthusiastic response from parts stores to sponsor events. Promoted to Strategic Alliances Director to build a national Events program and train the sales force on how to duplicate the success and on advanced sales techniques.
Automotive diagnostic engine analyzers.
Challenge: Introduce a new model analyzer incorporating Expert System (AI) technology to retail automotive services market. Lots of skepticism of technology (promised breakthroughs in the past did not deliver) and suppliers (past behavior of commission-only reps that were paid to sell equipment but not support after the sale).
Strategy: Focus on shop’s high-tech image to consumers. Design and desktop-publish sales fliers explaining benefits to consumers (faster repairs done right the first time due to automated accurate diagnosis) that showed the $30,000+ system. Provided complete hands-on training on technical features and on merchandising. Position as a new “profit center” since shop could upsell a tune-up by adding an “all systems diagnostic test with computer print-out.”
Results: Placed 9th of over 300 reps first year as independent agent and provided sales training and consulting services.