We’re performing well right now, in the middle of the quarantine period.
Late March and the first half of April have been tough. Many very good people are on the sidelines waiting for the office and the sales field to open back up. Those of us who are working are working very hard.
- The small but effective “Special Ops” team in the office is providing great service to our customers and knocking out fulfillment like it is business as usual, even as we navigate the significant challenges of working remotely from home as part of a very lean team. The office is functioning well. The AMP engine is humming efficiently. People are dialed in and working hard. Many people are handling work across traditional department lines, and have taken on roles that they last performed years ago. I am super proud of this group.
- Our “Strike Force” sales team, those field sales reps who transitioned from in-person Field Sales to home-based Phone Sales, is also doing an exceptional job. Their work has been led by every sales VP, the Regional Managers, and the District Managers, who are each personally putting up thousand dollar plus sales days selling over the phones alongside their reps. Nobody in this core group had made ad sales over the phone before, at any point in their career. The transition from field to phone sales is a huge and truly challenging change. It hasn’t been easy and it was emotionally difficult to recognize that a lot of us are truly and exclusively face to face sellers. (I think I would put myself in that bucket.) However, a core group of strong Field to Phones sellers have emerged, and they are rising to the challenge, starting with pushing themselves well outside familiar comfort zones. This group of reps have built totally new skills. They’ve gone from feeling terribly and consciously incompetent over the phone to becoming true experts at phone ad sales. Last week, they averaged about $1,000 in sales per day per person. We are evolving a set of long lasting, highly valuable best practices that stand to make AMP a more nimble, efficient, and effective sales team over the long haul. It’s really exciting.
- Two sales teams set All-Time Best Sales Records in March and continue at an all-out sprint in April. Both of them did it from home in very challenging circumstances. Our Schaumburg OPTIMA™ Account Managers beat their previous best ever month, and not by a little… They beat their best month ever by 24.9% in March. That says something about the fundamental and enduring value of our OPTIMA™ product set, and the mindset and grit of that team. Our other traditional over-the-phone sales team, the DeKalb Inside Sales Team, achieved their single best month of team sales in AMP history as well. In many regards, their success selling HomePages® advertising set an early, inarguable example to every other skilled advertising sales person here, that this work can be done effectively and productively, with faith, focus, and a lot of hard work.
It is easy in a crisis to lose your way, to throw up your hands, to collapse to mediocre results or to fail to recognize all the things that DO remain in your control. I’ve been saying for five weeks that we’d control every factor that we could control, and take every step that we can take to steer through this, bring people back to work, and emerge stronger at a certain point. We are doing it.