As with all of 15 interim gigs, the success we had over the last year when I was Interim CEO at Cambridge Sound Management is due to the people. As my first boss said, “Success in business is all about the people.” Hire good people. Train them. Motivate them. Empower them.
I’ve found this to be true no matter what industry I’ve been in and no matter what size the company.
CSM is the number one sound masking company in the world. It’s main product line, QtPro is based on patented technology and is used by over 40% of the Fortune 100 companies to protect speech privacy and to reduce office distractions. QtPro is deployed in hundreds of millions of square feet of space throughout the world including government agencies, healthcare facilities, financial services, and businesses.
As a team, over the last year we settled a long-standing lawsuit (avoiding significant planned legal fees), we profitably grew revenue from 2012 to 2013 (and are on track to do the same in 2014), we grew the team from 26 to 35 (on the way to 42), and we instilled a company culture of cooperation.
- Revenue Growth: We grew 2013 revenue substantially over 2012, and started 2014 with continued significant revenue growth. Maintained healthy profit margins throughout.
- Team Growth and Development: We grew the team from 26 to 35 with projections for 42. We implemented professional HR policies and procedures. Moved the company culture from “fiefdoms” to “cooperation.”
- Settled Lawsuit: We established direct contact with the CEO of a competitive firm and negotiated a settlement. Saved CSM legal expenses that had been projected to be spent over 15 months.
- Ownership Transition: Transitioned ownership of the company to one ownership group.
- Changed Sales Focus: The Sales organization’s focus changed from “signing dealers” to “signing deals,” with significant increase in contracts with end-user prospects and customers.
- Streamline of Internal Processes. Streamlined the process of selling and delivering our products by created a Sales Ops made up of existing team members who were moved from multiple groups to one newly formed group.
- Motivational Bonus Plan: Put in place a company-wide bonus plan that is copper-fastened to the company’s goals. The plan was focused on team accomplishments, not individual accomplishments.
- Competitive Data: Collected, consolidated, and disseminatedextensive competitive information that is being turned into useable, bite-sized tools for our reps.
- Distributor Efficiency: Implemented processes and procedures to motivate distributors that have strong potential and to cull distributors that are weak.