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case study

Interim VP of Sales - Fixed and Convergent Solutions

case study

Interim VP of Sales - Fixed and Convergent Solutions

A project delivered by
Consultant & Transition manager
A project delivered by
Consultant & Transition manager

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Challenge / Problems to be solved

Three years ago, the B2B unit of a mobile telecom operator introduced fixed and convergent solutions to its market. Despite the introduction of these offerings, the sales failed to gain significant traction. In response to this challenge, the B2B director made a strategic decision to appoint several interim managers. The goal was to establish a light organizational structure comprising experienced cross-functional directors. This approach aimed to support and empower the sales teams and their management, fostering a substantial increase in sales and revenue for the new services.

Solution & Methodology

The appointed interim directors were tasked with leading lean teams, each consisting of one person per sales team. The primary objectives were to refocus sales teams and management on fixed sales, emphasizing specific key performance indicators (KPIs) through targeted reporting and regular progress assessments. To achieve this, the directors implemented a series of measures:

  • Conducting regular business reviews focused exclusively on fixed and convergent solutions, including pipeline and forecast assessments, opportunity reviews, and the formulation of action plans for account managers and sales teams.
  • Contributing to sales proposals and providing assistance during customer presentations.
  • Defining specific targets for fixed solutions across all contributors, including salespeople, sales management, lead generation, customer care, and pre-sales.
  • Collaborating with marketing, lead generation, and sales management to develop and implement operations aimed at generating more leads and identifying additional opportunities.
  • Establishing and implementing specific processes to streamline operations and enhance efficiency.
  • Designing and rolling out dedicated training programs covering products, operations, competition, legal aspects, and more.
  • Initiating specific operations, projects, and dedicated customer events to showcase solutions, customer testimonials, and experiences.

Results achieved

The overarching objective of the interim management initiative was to achieve significant sales and revenue growth for fixed and convergent solutions within the next 15-18 months. The success criteria were met through the diligent execution of the outlined strategies. The focused approach on sales teams, targeted reporting, and collaboration across various business functions led to the attainment of the set sales and revenue targets. As a result, the positions of the Sales directors responsible for fixed and convergent solutions were slated to be phased out, indicating the fulfillment of the mission to boost the market presence and performance of these services.

📣 Jan's side note on Interim Management

What is an Interim Manager and how this role may help companies?

Different roles of an Interim Manager: Interim, Crisis, Turnaround, Transformation, Special situations.

An interim manager can help companies in several ways:

  • Ensuring Continuity: They can maintain the continuity of a management role in various functions, typically at the C-level (CEO, CFO, COO, CMO, CCO, CSO, CDO, CIO), HR Director, Legal Director, Business Unit Directors, or Transformation Director.
  • Addressing Critical Situations: Interim managers are often sought after in critical situations, such as when key managers have departed, or when a company needs to prepare for significant competitive changes in its market (such as the entry of new competitors, disruptive offers, or new regulations).
  • Crisis Management: They excel in crisis management, offering expertise in reorganization, turnaround strategies, designing and implementing new strategies, facilitating transformations, and revitalizing businesses.

Why do companies need to hire an Interim Manager?

Companies hire Interim Managers to have an immediate response to a critical need for which they don’t have an internal resource and for which a consultant without extensive operational experience won’t be a solution. Companies then decide to hire a short period (3 months to 1-2 years) of a highly experienced manager to manage the project or the situation. They prefer to hire over-skilled and over-experienced people to make sure they can handle the situation and that they are respected by the teams in the organization.

What are the goals of this role?

The goals of the role depend on the situation in the company and the function for which the Interim Manager is needed. Generally, Interim Managers fix a critical problem or manage a crisis. Some also say they are Situation Managers helping companies to handle a particular situation and address a specific topic. However, they can also be Interim positions, meaning important places to be appointed during the research for a new teammate and an Interim Manager allows to have a continuity of the position for the company.

Skills required for an Interim Manager

Hard Skills:

  • Immediate availability and instant operational capability
  • Geographically mobile
  • Knowledge and serious experience in the job for which he will be an Interim manager (8-10 years minimum)
  • Seniority and extensive general work experience (15 - 25 years)
  • For certain assignments, an EXCOM / C-level experience is preferred
  • Track record of success at other companies
  • Intensive work capacity
  • “Helicopter mode”: strategic vision & hands-on execution

Soft skills:

  • Leadership
  • Empathy & active listening
  • Cross-Functional Collaboration
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Political Acumen
  • Calmness Under Pressure
  • Providing stability and comfort to teams

Interim Managers across markets

Interim managers provide immediate and substantial value to companies by aiding them in navigating critical situations, recovering from crises, and undergoing transformative changes for improved business operations.

Some markets like Germany have a great tradition of Interim Management. The companies recognize the benefits of leveraging the expertise and extensive experience of seasoned executives who effectively guide and transform their businesses.

Other markets like France, historically use Interim Managers less often. In Germany, Interim Management is not only used for crisis management but also for project management and for temporary replacement for vacant positions, whereas in France the Interim Manager called “Transition Manager” (manager de transition) is often associated with crisis management and overseeing company turnarounds.

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Get a free 30 min consultation with Jan or an expert with similar skills and experience