VEST Case Study
Sales Outsourcing Start-Up Multiplies Sales and Success
Company: Wingman Coaching, LLC, DBA VEST - The Virtual Event Sales Team
No. of Employees: 12 on staff, dozens of sales reps hired on project basis
- 90% of hires turn out to be A Players
- Created $30M in new sales for clients
- Met criteria for Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in first 3 years
When a company releases a coaching, education or mentorship program or service and wants a sales team on board, they call VEST, who recruits and manages the sales representatives. With a permanent staff of about twelve, VEST has hired dozens of sales reps on a project basis.
CEO Rudy Rodriguez wanted to bring a higher level of sophistication and professionalism to the outsourced sales industry. Independent sales reps are typically paid only commission, and hiring A Players is a big challenge. Turnover in the industry is sky high – typically 75% in the first 6 months.
“Embracing Topgrading is one of the three most important decisions I’ve made in business.”
- Rudy Rodriguez, CEO
Rodriguez had heard about Topgrading in various Mastermind groups (where high powered coaches consult on business strategy). He was initially concerned that the lengthy Topgrading Interview would discourage candidates, but after attending a Topgrading Workshop concluded that strong candidates would welcome the thorough Topgrading process. After trying the process, Rodriguez says “I was right.”
COO Bethany Powlson was assessed as a candidate for a sales job using the Topgrading process and was hired and promoted twice. Powlson became the organization’s Topgrading Interview specialist, and the process is working very well.
- A Job Scorecard for the sales rep role guides the process.
- Candidates are, so far, all generated through the professional networks of Rodriguez and Powlson.
- Candidates complete the full Career History Form through the Topgrading Online Solutions (TOLS) software.
- After Phone Screen Interviews, competency interviews are conducted virtually.
- Powlson conducts Topgrading Interviews virtually. Unlike 4-hour Topgrading Interviews that are conducted for managers, the sales rep individual contributor role requires a shorter interview, focusing on the candidate’s most recent positions.
- At least 4 reference calls with candidates’ managers are made, organized by the candidates.
On their concerns about the time investment of Topgrading, Powlson asserts that the time is well worth it: “Too time consuming compared to what? The dozens of hours wasted having to replace a bad hire? Or the amount of time it takes to clean up the mess they made?”
“Anticipating growth, we keep a virtual bench of 10 people – people Topgraded and ready to come with us when we’re ready.”
- Bethany Powlson, COO
Since beginning Topgrading, 90% of VEST's hires have been A Players. The company’s first year sales were over $250k, which increased to over $800k in the second year and surpassed $2.1M in the third.
According to Powlson, “Our ability to attract, interview, hire, train and keep A Player sales professionals changed the game for our clients and in most cases helped them double, or even triple their sales.”
In an industry with an average turnover rate of 50-75% in the first six months, VEST's turnover rate of only 10% is enviable.
Rodriguez reflects, “With almost all A Players, there is a high degree of mutual trust – trust that the job will get done very well.”