We’re recruiting! Are you our new Product Manager?

Job Title: Product Manager Salary Band: TBD
Location: UK Start Date: ASAP

White Springs Overview

White Springs is the dominant supplier of technology tools to the worldwide sales training industry and a growing sales enablement software vendor. Our customers include most of the leading sales methodology authors such as MHI Global, Sales Performance International and Infoteam, as well as Leading CRM vendors such as Oracle, SAP, Salesforce.com and Microsoft.
White Springs currently supports 90,000+ users across 300+ organizations including Motorola, Siemens, National Australia Bank and VMware.

Role

The product manager is responsible for managing a portfolio of software products on behalf of one or more product sponsors. The product manager has a responsibility to deliver high quality, profitable products, which complement and drive the sponsor’s brand.

Key objectives of the role include:

  • Understanding and delivering the product sponsor’s requirements
  • Ensuring the overall high quality of the product
  • Specifying and managing product enhancements and development
  • Providing effective communication internally and externally
  • Managing development projects to ensure delivery to budget, on time

Key Responsibilities

  • Create and maintain product roadmaps, detailing key deliverables and product direction for the year
  • Create project plans as required, and select and manage virtual teams across the organisation as necessary to deliver against plan
  • Liaise closely with other departments to communicate requirements and monitor deliverables
  • Liaise with clients to review their products, agree the product roadmap, and keep them informed of progress
  • Monitor monthly product scorecard to identify issues and opportunities, and to maximise margins
  • Liaise with the Business Analyst to understand competitors, and recommend product strategy

Required experience / skills

  • Experience of managing projects to completion, including drafting estimates and building project plans, and ensuring tasks are completed on schedule
  • Strong personal organisation skills
  • Open to picking up a reasonable level of technical knowledge where relevant for being able to manage projects effectively

Beneficial experience / skills

  • Experience of a software development environment
  • Experience of Agile or Kanban
  • Knowledge of software managements systems such as JIRA

Contact Details: email: careers@white-­springs.com

We’re recruiting! Are you our VP of Product Management?

Job Title: VP – Product Management Job Code: WS017-USA
Location: UK or USA Salary Band: TBD
Revision Date: 9th July, 2015 Start Date: ASAP

White Springs Overview:
White Springs is the dominant supplier of technology tools to the worldwide sales training industry and a growing sales enablement software vendor. Our customers include most of the leading sales methodology authors such as MHI Global, Sales Performance International and Infoteam, as well as leading CRM vendors such as Oracle, SAP, Salesforce.com and Microsoft. White Springs currently supports 90,000+ users across 300+ organizations including Motorola, Siemens, National Australia Bank and VMware.

Position Overview:
We are looking for an experienced VP of Product Management who is passionate about building products that customers love including products that may be disruptive in the industry. You will join a dynamic and fast-paced environment and work with cross-functional teams to design, build and roll-out products that deliver the company’s vision and strategy.

Job Purpose:
Reporting directly to the CEO, the position will involve working closely with …

  • The White Springs executive team to devise strategies for growth
  • New and existing White Springs clients and partners to understand market opportunities
  • White Springs engineering, marketing, business development and client services teams to ensure Partner and customer personnel are effectively supported

Essential Job Functions:

  • Define the product strategy and product roadmap
  • Manage product lifecycle for a portfolio of products
  • Track and report on risks, product evaluations and strategy decisions
  • Lead design and testing of new products, determining which projects should continue
  • Develop the core positioning and messaging for the products
  • Research and respond to market trends
  • Prioritized features and corresponding justification
  • Be an expert with respect to the competition
  • Set pricing to meet revenue and profitability goals
  • Run beta and pilot programs with early-stage products
  • Work with marketing to develop sales tools and collateral
  • Brief and train the White Springs business development team
  • Brief press and analysts
  • Act as a leader within the company

Success Profile:

  • Proven working experience in product management
  • Proven track record of managing all aspects of a successful product throughout its lifecycle
  • Proven ability to develop product and marketing strategies and effectively communicate recommendations to executive management
  • Solid technical background with understanding and/or hands-on experience in software development and web technologies
  • Strong problem solving skills and willingness to roll up one’s sleeves to get the job done
  • Skilled at working effectively with cross functional teams
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • MS/BS degree in Computer Science, Engineering or equivalent preferred

Minimum Requirements:

  • Strong interpersonal and relationship building skills
  • Comfortable working independently
  • Flexibility and a positive attitude
  • Ability to handle demanding, difficult, or emotional clients and users with diplomacy
  • Ability to multitask between users across multiple products and platforms simultaneously

Other Skills/Abilities:

  • Willingness to learn and grow role within White Springs
  • Desire to contribute to corporate strategy
  • Ability to adapt to a relaxed but hard working employee culture
  • Experience with particular CRM applications an advantage

Contact Details:
Email: careers@white-springs.com

NOTE: This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive. Employee may perform other related duties as negotiated to meet the ongoing needs of the organization.

Three qualities sales software developers share with elite gymnasts

GymnastSo they might not know the difference between an arabesque and a salto but our sales software developers have more in common with world class gymnasts than you might think.

Steeped in the world of sales training, sales transformation and sales enablement, we know every successful business has it’s own unique selling proposition and staff need to learn how to target sales efforts effectively. However, a system that works well with one company can easily fail when used in a different one. As a result, no off-the-shelf sales training software will suit all organisations. Sales software needs to be customised to suit each business’ individual requirements. This can often be expensive. So how can you ensure your outlay in investment will pay dividends? Answer, by choosing a knowledgeable sales technology partner as flexible as a gymnast. Here’s our take on what we share in common:

  1. Time and practice

Elite gymnasts take years of intense practice and devotion to master their sport. According to Jeff Gordon, ‘Competitive gymnasts may practice and/or compete several times a week. Elite gymnasts make the sport their life.’ Similarly, software developers take years to learn and master their skills, often on the job. But it doesn’t end there. A significant amount of time is required to stay in touch with changes in technology and learn new skills.

  1. Flexibility

Gymnasts are known for their flexibility. Their sport requires pliable muscles. Software developers are also required to be flexible enough to create programs to meet their client’s requirements in a world where technology is evolving faster than ever.

  1. Agility

In gymnastics, agility refers to the ability to transition between several positions efficiently and quickly. This is important for completing floor routines and exercises on the balance beam. As seen in our series on SCRUM Agile software development, good agile software developers are able to analyse problems and see them from a broader business perspective.

The team at White Springs have been developing software and staying abreast with changes in the technology industry for years. When a client asks us to configure and customise, we can, we do and we know how.

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Using social media for sales

771Have you ever heard about the invention of pre-prepared meals? They might not seem like such a big deal now but to time poor, work busy Brits in the 1950s the invention of something that didn’t need to be peeled, boiled and baked was a big deal.

Fast forward to today and social selling is something that must be pursued by sales as a more informed market starts actively seeking solutions to their frustrations.

According to a Forrester report buyers may be between two-thirds and 90% of the way through their buying journey before reaching out to sales.

The people that are looking to buy your product are not waiting for you to approach them any more.

They are online, looking at their options. If you as a company are not online interacting in this space and being helpful, you’re 90% behind your customer’s buying journey.

Today customers can go online at any time and start researching a solution that perfectly suits their needs. They don’t have to wait for you to call or for you to be available for an appointment.

They can also ask their peers about their experience of certain products and ask companies themselves for recommendations and advice.

This is why even big companies like IBM are investing heavily in social selling. IBM realised that 75% of decision making IT professionals are expected to use social media as a crucial component of their decision making process in the future. So they ramped up their social selling efforts and invested in social media training for sales.

Social selling is not where you customer may be some of the time, it is where they are now – always.

How to get started

Like all new things, common behaviour and etiquette take a while to get established. The best way to use social media to sell, is to treat it like a more advanced version of what sales has always been – the creation of meaningful relationships.

Be genuine within the space, monitor what is being said and develop connections and contacts online that you’d traditionally make at events. Network, share your expertise and put time and effort into getting to know the people and key frustrations of your target market.

You must be genuinely helpful

Personality and humour has it’s place in social selling, it is about who you are and relationships after all, but you must offer something of genuine value. In the end, we don’t do business with the people we like. We do business with the people we trust and who offer genuine solutions to our problems.

You should be writing and posting about solutions to typical buyer frustrations and offering helpful advice to your buyers. Be the person in their space that is constantly making their life easier.

Marketing does the social media

The success of any business depends on the efforts of every single member of the team. Segmenting tasks is only harmful to your business as customer’s now expect sophisticated customer service and a business that understands and responds to their specific needs.

The sales team is often positioned to be the best advisor on what the company should be talking about. You spend all day talking to customers, understanding their frustrations and advising on solutions to their business problems. So why aren’t you writing those solutions down and helping as many people as possible?

It is not just about communicating

Let’s face it, every single person online is communicating. Gone are the days of sitting there and sending out carefully constructed stories and getting a lot of attention for your efforts.

Social selling is about creating something real, engaging in discussions and interacting with people.

It is about being helpful, useful and interesting and making sure you’re there for every step of the buying journey.

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Less support calls, but better customer service – how did we do that?

helpdesk

Over recent years we’ve been closely monitoring the volume, frequency, complexity and fix rate of our inbound customer support queries. Like many in this age of cloud based software applications, we use an online customer service portal – to make life as easy as possible for our customers.

We use a solution called Zendesk – a cloud-based customer service tool that enables us to track every customer interaction – whether by email, phone, directly via the portal and in ot

her ways too. By keeping everything in one place, we can easily keep on top of what’s going on, helping us to better serve our customers with things like customer self-service.

Yes, that’s all very interesting, but everyone has some kind of support system – but the really interesting part for us is what the reporting and analytics has revealed.

White Springs ranks above 70% of all Zendesk customers on “First time reply”

What does that mean exactly? Well out of the 52,000 plus customers that Zendesk has, White Springs responds to new calls faster than over two thirds of their clients. And over time, we’ve improved out response speed by a whopping 37%.

But how have we done this? I caught up with Neil Cochrane who runs customer support here and he noted three main reasons:

  • As our own software has evolved, we’re doing less ‘on premise’ work, which historically tended to bring more than its fair share of challenges and consequently support tickets
  • The quality of the solutions we build has improved over time – our software is better made now that it has ever been
  • Our process for fixing bugs and issues has become more robust over time. Not only are there less bugs to fix, but when they do occur, we get fixes in place much quicker

We’re not saying that our work is done, exactly the opposite. We’ll keep pushing to improve in every aspect – solution, services and support.

From small seeds… and building long-term client-supplier relationships

From-small-seedsMighty trees may grow from small seeds, and we’re not saying we’re mighty trees, but many of our clients have been clients for many, many years – and just like a healthy tree, those relationships have grown and successfully weathered the different seasons.

Our White Springs sales enablement technology has undoubtedly played a part in keeping our customers happy. Providing outstanding customer service has also been a considerable influencing factor too – see our recent post on our achieving 100% customer satisfaction.

Clients such as bfinance, Health Edge Software, Pearson Packages and Inova have been working with us to enhance their Miller Heiman and Salesforce implementations for eight years or more. Many others, for example, McCue Corporation, Baker Atlas, Spherion, Noresco, ChemImage and Houston Wire and Cable are not far behind, at around seven years.

In the world of sales, customer acquisition and retention, we’re often reminded that it’s costly to attract new clients, and it’s much better to retain the ones you have. This philosophy is certainly held at White Springs.

Case Study – Roche Diagnostics Improve the Health of Their Salesforce with White Springs

Roche DiagnosticsRoche Diagnostics, along with Roche Pharmaceutical, is an important part of the foundation that modern healthcare builds upon.

Their broad range of innovative diagnostic tests and systems play a pivotal role in the ground-breaking area of integrated healthcare solutions and cover the early detection, targeted screening, evaluation and monitoring of disease.

Over an eighteen month period, they have been rolling out Salesforce.com to their numerous business units, with four more going live early in 2015. In order to help them achieve their goals, they turned to White Springs to help.

Read more in the full case study and watch Joan Ridgeway from Roche Diagnostics talk about their experience of working with White Springs.

We’ve started the New Year as we mean to go on – 100% Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction - Outstanding Customer Service2015 has got off to a great start, in many ways, but in particular the three months to January 13th. We’ve written about our well above the industry norm levels of customer satisfaction before, but we’ve not rested on our laurels. In the three months to January 13th, we’ve hit 100% customer satisfaction once again.

Thank you to our customers for providing such great feedback, and thank you to all involved in delivering this outstanding level of customer service.

Is there anything else we can do for our customers? Make the tea perhaps?

Velocity Rocket to receive Highly Commended in Banbury Employee of the Year awards

BEOTYThe upcoming Banbury Employee of the Year Awards 2015 has once again seen stiff competition from Banbury businesses. Velocity Rocket has been singled out by the organisers for a Highly Commended award and we’ll be attending the presentation event on Friday, 30th January.

The award ceremony will be held at the prestigious Great Barn, Aynho, followed by a talk from Banbury MP Sir Tony Baldry with the winners of Banbury Apprentice/Trainee, Employee, Charity Fundraiser, Team and Employer of the Year 2015 being announced.

SalesDNA is hot off the White Springs press

sales-genetics-logoAssessing and developing your sales team is not an easy task but it’s getting easier with the release of Sales DNA®, sales-genetic’s new and exciting performance management tool.

Created by sales enablement gurus, White Springs, the Sales DNA® analysis tool provides sales leaders insight into the sales competencies of their sales professionals, including “what good looks like”. It serves both of them as a coaching and development tool and also helps to align the right people to the right jobs, including new recruits. In addition, for the first time the training department can see “real time”, where to invest their training budget, tailor the development to individuals and teams and monitor improvements.

The tool has been well received by users during testing and a global communications organisation is already signed up.

For more information contact sales-genetics +49 211 5666 220 / info@sales-genetics.com

About sales-genetics

sales-genetics is an international sales consultancy located in Duesseldorf, Germany working with partners across Europe and North America.

Since 2006 sales-genetics helps its customers to get insight into the ‘genetics disposition’ of their sales activities: the sales dna®. This enables sales-genetics to identify – and subsequently realise – each customer’s potential for optimisation. www.sales-genetics.com