I first met Carol Griffiths at a previous company, I was part of the telesales team and she'd been bought in by the higher ups to pretty much restructure and turnaround the sales function. I can remember finding her incredibly direct, efficient, and if I'm honest I was shit scared of her. The sales team were not delivering and wasn't as profitable as it should have been - Carol was brought in to troubleshoot and solve this problem. It wasn't pretty, it was frustrating at times, but she wasn't there to make friends and was completely focused on fixing the business problem, and it wasn't personal.
As scared as I was of her, I respected her an awful lot and she knew her stuff. Fast forward three years and I’m working at an exciting, innovative (hate that word), tech company for a volatile and brilliant entrepreneur and businessman, Tim Langley. The product was great, pricing cheaper than it should be, and it solved an ever-increasing business problem - but we were struggling to scale up the sales team. Pulling my hair out I called upon Carol, and introduced her to Tim.
Since we brought in Carol as a consultant she’s taken on the role of firm, scary, wise, CANDDi matriarch and has whipped everybody’s arses into shape (myself and Tim’s included) and we’ve never looked back. Here’s some of how she’s helped our business…
(Self) Micromanagement We are not a call centre environment, we sell a professional service and hire smart people to sell it. We don’t like whipping our staff, but we do have standards and targets (we are a business after all). So we generate call numbers and times, make them available for the team…and leave it at that. Nobody falls behind for too long because they’ve got pride in what they do and want to succeed, and they are managing themselves.
Holding us accountable If we have goals that we’ve set and need to be doing x y and z, and we haven’t quite done x y and z but are still expecting same results or our direction is wrong, she’ll set us straight. If we could be doing things better, or we’re using the wrong resources she’ll tell us - this is tricky as it’s our ‘baby’ and it’s quite hard being critical about someone’s baby! Or being the one taking the criticism, for that matter. A fellow Northerner, she tells it like it is and because she’s got a brilliant track record and is delivering - we listen and learn.
Leading by example Rather than just advising on best sales techniques etc, Carol will jump on the phone and show the team how to do it. This gives huge amounts of confidence to her ‘trainees’ as they can see her advice working in action. As much as we’d like to keep her forever, and I’m sure she’ll continue working with us long term - she’s also helped us find a Sales Manager who fits in perfectly with our culture and will help continue to build and nurture the sales team.
I’m conscious of the fact I may have lulled you into a false sense of security here, she delivers and is fantastic and we love her…but she can be scary when she needs to be. Do. Not. Ever. Call. Her. Cazza.