This is the Impact of Hiring On Purpose.
Y Scouts is dedicated to bringing you Impact Stories from leaders all over the country who are driven by purpose, committed to authenticity, relentless learners, and driving results. We can all learn from these leaders and how they influence successful outcomes with their intentional leadership style.
As Senior VP of Sales & Marketing, Bill leads a team at OpenTech Alliance, delivering amazing services, hardware, and software to help support a 40 Billion dollar industry with over 46000 Self Storage facilities across the United States. Bill’s purpose is to motivate people to “Learn and Teach” every single day and in so grow personally.
Bill was tasked with the leadership challenge to change a 15 year culture and prepare the organization for accelerated growth and to operationalize people, process and technology. The organization needed the means to determine if they had the right people to cross the chasm. As we interviewed Bill, we learned the three elevated behaviors in the Y Scouts Leadership Model, shined brightly on this leader’s success story.
At the core of the model is “Gratefulness” and as Bill describes his approach, you could hear the gratitude for what he is doing in how he cares for his team. OpenTech Alliance harnesses a culture of inclusion and Bill leverages curiosity and learning in his style to drive the desired results.
He shares, “Underneath this confident exterior (laughter), I’m just a regular human being with fears like anyone else.” What he has learned is, to harness fear he must get outside of himself and focus on helping others learn and achieve what they want and when fear creeps in, to view it as a driver to push him towards his team and learn something new. Sales were always his strong suit, but when tasked with bringing the entire Sales & Marketing team together he knew he had to help design an account based marketing strategy. They needed to, define the audience and a cadence to deliver on the brand promise with those right party contacts. He never had to write creative content. “I am not the most creative person; I always had much more qualified people to do this,” he exclaimed. So, he tried and what he learned very quickly was, while he believes he is not the best at creative copywriting, doing it helped him learn the products and gaps we need to fill and exactly the skills we needed to hire to fill the gap on the team and deliver. “My interviews were far more impactful as a result of my hands-on learning and I learned quickly to add maybe an obvious component; to always request writing samples early in the process.” Y Scouts loves how Bill demonstrates the positive impact of Relentless Learning for leaders.
He goes on to describe his commitment to curiosity in their weekly meeting cadence. “I try not to TELL my team even though every piece of me is saying just tell them what to do, I ask these four questions every week:”
- How did we do with our communications this week?
- How do we feel about our call planning & task lists?
- Does the WHY we are engaging our customers to help them increase revenue, decrease cost, reduce risk and increase customer satisfaction?
- Why are you engaging your chosen audience and are you curious enough about their success driving a value discussion and not a sales call?
Bill states these help prioritize and reset them, as they each answer from their perspective. He has a hypothesis that because he had so many Meyer’s Briggs ENTJ’s on his team, they do not like to or know when to ask for help. This weekly in-person allows him to read people’s faces. Referencing the book, Language in the Pursuit of Happiness Bill makes it safe for his team to express things if it is not crystal clear. “It is still surprising to me people are okay not clearly understanding what is being asked of them. At times it gives them an excuse to not deliver. I want them all to understand that when you feel overwhelmed or feel like what I am asking is too much they are in a safe place to ask me how to prioritize.” he encourages.
Bill also allows them the freedom to disagree, ask why and then let them do their thing. “For so many years, I told people what to do. Now I realize people may have different priorities than me, been raised differently, have different backgrounds and life experiences and that is okay. I need to create the purpose and allow them to make decisions. I have checks and balances in place to trust but verify. I often say, “I am the guardrails at the bowling alley. Here to guide you, keep you headed in the right direction it is their job to knock down the pins, but be sure we are striving to get a strike every time.” Y Scouts sees Bill developing others and driving the desired results with this approach.
We asked Bill about the specific results the team has the past year. “I am most proud of the overall cultural turnaround of the team as a result of their willingness to trust, step outside their comfort zone and grow faster than the business is growing. They are no longer focused on taking inbound leads and instead convert people that they KNOW are interested in our services. They are reaching out to people that don’t expect their call because they believe in what we are doing as a business and a team. Up to 20% of new business comes from each person will come from outbound engagement.”
“Previously, there were minimal, focused outbound efforts. We are up over 130% outbound calls a day and rapidly increasing—everyone now clearly sees and understands the what and why we do this. The stories of great conversations they have engaging our customers are the best part.”
How did Bill help guide this change? He provided some opening call ideas that would eliminate the fear of “cold calling/selling” and empower them to be curious:
My boss is asking me to do a quick survey of your business success in 2018. It is my job to help you be successful and I cannot do that without knowing what is important to you? Do you have a moment? Many of my larger clients have Security on the top of their list for 2019 so I am making quick calls to see if facilities have challenges with break-ins or vandalism?
“In less than a year, we deployed new sales & marketing process and enterprise-grade CRM & Marketing automation technology. People that were not a fit for daily execution excellence a culture of respect and kindness and our new way of engaging with passion and curiosity, self-selected out. Surprisingly, we only lost 3 of 22 people and I am working with the best sales team I have ever had the pleasure of working with, and there have been many great ones!”
Y Scouts wishes Bill Hoffman and the OpenTech Alliance team continued success. Keep making an impact, by leading with purpose, caring for your team with curiosity and relentless learning to drive powerful results!
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