Beverley Thompson, Residential Sales Director at FLOW Jamaica in Kingston, Jamaica, won the Silver Stevie® Award for Sales Training or Education Leader of the Year in the Sales Awards Individual categories of the 2015 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service.
Since winning the Stevie® Awards last week, Beverley has been in the limelight in the corporate world in Jamaica. It’s the first time anyone representing a Jamaican company has won such an award. On Sunday, March 8, the Jamaica Observer ran a lengthy feature on Beverley’s story in recognition of International Women’s Day.
Beverley’s nomination in the Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service was submitted by ValueSelling Associates, and afterwards she commented: “I’m thankful to ValueSelling for the nomination. I believe this award validates my passion for people development, coaching, and training!”
Continued Beverley: “This is a really prestigious award. Companies from around the world participate in the Sales & Customer Service Awards. There were over 1,900 nominations from around the world in different categories, presided over by experienced judges who narrowed it down to Finalists. We were Finalists in two categories: Leader of Sales Education, where I won the Silver Stevie; and Sales Coaching Program of the Year, for which the Flow retail team won the Bronze Stevie.
“The retail team trained with Value Selling, which nominated us, and as far as I am aware, no other Jamaican individual or company has ever won or been nominated for the Stevie Awards.”
Commenting on the awards ceremony, held in Las Vegas on February 27, Beverley had this to say: “In one room you have over 500 people from all over the world, including India, Australia, Dubai, Turkey—and some of the biggest companies in the world, like Marriott, DHL, Lennox, Wyndham. Winning these awards means a lot for my own organization.”
Service-based Sales Culture
When sales veteran Beverley Thompson assumed the role of leading FLOW Jamaica’s retail sales team in 2010, the company’s focus was to transform it’s thirteen retail stores from being primarily service outlets to revenue-generating centers for its triple-play services. The company was keen to leverage its service skills to create what Thompson describes as a “service-based sales culture.”
To effect this culture change, Beverley knew she first had to start with equipping the retail team with new skills. No stranger to leading skills development, she took on the task of creating and delivering a “Sales 101” curriculum relevant to her team’s environment. She did this while maintaining her own responsibilities for a team of over 100 persons and delivering her sales targets.
ValueSelling’s Retail Program
Beverley’s next area of focus was to enhance the team’s skills to create value for every customer interaction. The objective was to have retail customers leaving the store feeling they had received more than they expected. By doing so, the customer would be inclined to retain FLOW’s services, increase their spend, or recommend FLOW to someone else.
Beverley brought in ValueSelling Associates to work with her to create a common retail sales approach built around a conversational framework that would be used by each retail representative.
Beverley liked ValueSelling’s B2B sales process and tasked the company with adapting it to fit a retail environment. She was very clear that any sales process implemented should also include the tools and reinforcement framework to enable her team to embed it post workshop-delivery.
ValueSelling Associates created the ValueSelling Framework for Retail, built around a five-step approach for engaging the retail customer. It was designed to move the FLOW team from pitching products and promotions to engaging the customer to uncover what value meant to them–and then delivering it.
Beverley created a core team within the organization who were tasked with becoming experts in the ValueSelling Framework. The aim was to ensure that the process was adopted and yielded results in several areas of tracking, including:
- a reduction in disconnections;
- an increase in ‘add-on’ services; and
- qualitative metrics such as customer feedback on the overall quality of the interaction with FLOW’s retail representatives.
The team used creative techniques to ensure the Retail representatives were properly utilizing ValueSelling. These included incentives such as gift cards for the winners of quizzes on the sales methodology; team meetings with presentations on key aspects of the ValueSelling Framework; and an essay contest describing the retail representative’s best ValueSelling experience with a customer and the results it yielded.
In addition to wallet cards provided to retail representatives to remind them of the ValueSelling Framework process, the back office of each store was equipped with a poster-size version to provide visual reinforcement. Actively involved in the process of embedding the program, Beverley traveled with her core team to each retail outlet to ‘mystery shop’ and do spot observations on the team’s use of the retail sales approach.
Embracing the Process
FLOW’s retail team responded to the efforts of Beverley and her core team by embracing the ValueSelling process. Their commitment was not only evidenced in their willingness to attend workshops on Sundays, but also with the enthusiasm and competitive spirit which they displayed in showcasing each store’s use of ValueSelling and the impact on the metrics being tracked.
The results followed: Within six months of adopting the ValueSelling Framework for Retail, FLOW saw a significant decrease in disconnections and a 10% increase in ‘add-on’ services. The FLOW team recognizes that because of the value of the techniques and its reinforcement, the ValueSelling Retail Approach is used in every conversation. In Beverley’s words: “The core concept of value became part of our DNA–because value isn’t just about sales, it involves the entire customer experience.”
About Beverley Thompson:
Beverley Thompson is the Director of Consumer Sales and Retail Services at FLOW Jamaica. She was the Sales Director at FLOW Jamaica for two and half years, primarily focusing on field sales operations, before leaving to work for the Royal Mail in England in 2008. She rejoined FLOW in October 2010. Beverley’s experience spans the strategic level, as well as the creation and management of multi-channel sales operations across retail, enterprise, and SME. She has had a career steeped in playing key roles in startups, the launch of new technology, and business units.
The former member of Youth Opportunities Unlimited plans to focus on assisting the schools which laid the foundation for her rise–Unity Primary, and Oberlin High–a quest that is being assisted by the supporting hand of her husband. The main life lesson for this lover of football, one-day cricket, and track & field, is: "knowing what you want, sticking to it ... and not being derailed by distractions or bumps along the way."
Beverley has an MBA from the Mona School of Business & Management in Jamaica. She and her husband live in Kingston, and she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and watching television.
About FLOW Jamaica:
Columbus Communications Jamaica Ltd. is wholly owned by Columbus. It markets its broadband triple play (cable‚ internet, and telephony) under the brand name FLOW. FLOW is the only company in Jamaica providing true broadband triple-play. FLOW's technology is cutting-edge and its people are experts in the field. FLOW aims to revolutionize the way Jamaicans watch, talk, and click.