Strategic Direction to Double Sales, Organizational Structure & Tech Stack to Scale

Case Study
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Graber Manufacturing, located in Waunakee, WI, is an original equipment manufacturer of steel fabricated commercial furnishings under the brand names Madrax and Thomas Steele. Madrax offers a large variety of bicycle parking solutions such as bicycle racks, bicycle lockers, and bike storage solutions. Thomas Steele product offerings include benches, tables, chairs, litter receptacles, planters, ash urns, and customized site furnishing products. More information can be found at www.madrax.com and www.thomas-steele.com.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

The partnership with Graber Manufacturing demonstrates Craft Impact’s full range of services and expertise.  Brought on initially as a consultant for marketing and sales strategy, Craft Impact’s team has evolved with the needs of the business - expanding  to an overall organizational consultant role and helping Graber build and scale their commerce (marketing and sales) team to achieve ambitious +235% revenue goals.

KEY RESULTS:

  • 1.7x or 170% increase in sales revenue over three years
  • Sales growth achieved organically, $0 from outside capital investments
  • Created 5 year strategic revenue goals (broken down by pipeline %) to guide decision-making and create clarity across leadership team
  • Developed org chart for scalability: job roles, responsibilities, and KPIs for marketing, sales, and customer service teams

PHASES OF THE PARTNERSHIP:

  • Phase 1: Seeking to first establish trust and credibility in a working partnership, we focused on quick sales wins and helping Graber optimize their inbound marketing processes. Following interviews with the existing sales team, we also developed an executive summary with recommendations for people management, refining pipeline stages, and enhancing current processes with digital tools.
  • Phase 2: With long-term growth and scalability in mind, we worked to build out Graber’s future sales team structure, complete with role KPIs and compensation plans, and aligned with strategic 5-year revenue goals, categorized by pipeline.

tracy graber"We were growing and we knew we needed help. The Craft team became integral to our organization helping us identify areas of opportunity and challenging us to grow smarter. Now we’re hitting records and have plans in place to continue to achieve the growth we desire. You guys are seriously the best!"

-Tracy Graber, Co-Owner & Business Development Manager

PHASE I

GRABER'S MARKETING & SALES CHALLENGES

Seeking Marketing and Sales Alignment

With sales down in 2019 and looking to achieve forecasted revenue goals in 2020, Graber leadership was looking for a way to create more cohesion and drive bigger results  from their marketing and sales efforts. Top line revenue plateaued for a couple of years, and Graber was looking for a breakthrough. They recognized a few key challenges needed to be addressed in order to grow the business in an industry with larger competitors:

  • Value proposition messaging disconnected across teams
    • Graber lacked consistent and unified communication of its value proposition for its two product lines, Madrax and Thomas Steele
  • Finding harmony between family business culture and expectations/accountability for employees
    • Sales reps and managers needed a consistent framework from the leadership team to collaborate, provide feedback and enable better performance.
    • While Graber employees enjoyed the tight knit culture of a family business, there was a lack of “healthy conflict” internally
    • Graber sales reps and managers struggled to increase revenue, while feeling busy and overwhelmed by demands on their time
  • No system or process for follow up with good-fit leads
    • Graber’s marketing and sales teams lacked cohesion and consistent communication with the follow-up process for good-fit leads.
    • Beyond the initial response to an inquiry, the team ran out of time to spend on long-term nurturing for prospects that would take 6+ months to convert.
    • Criteria for the following needed to be defined and fully understood by all marketing and sales team members:
      • When a prospect becomes a marketing qualified lead
      • What the follow-up and outreach looks like to engage the prospect, and When it is handed off to sales
      • What the sales follow up process entails - cadence, types of outreach, sales collateral, etc.
  • Inconsistent use of technology to drive revenue
    • With a significant investment in HubSpot, an integrated CRM, marketing, sales and website platform, Graber needed help maximizing its sales tools, reporting capabilities, and overall effectiveness.
    • Inconsistent data entry and undefined criteria meant that Graber leadership were not able to effectively use Hubspot as a tool to forecast sales, measure results, and build strategic goals as an organization.

THE CRAFT IMPACT SOLUTION

 

Unified Messaging Across Teams 

  • Craft Impact led Graber leadership through a series of messaging workshops, prioritizing the viewpoint and perspective of its ideal prospect.  Not only did Graber achieve a unified messaging framework across marketing and sales teams, the workshops gave core leadership a chance to communicate and discuss strategy around its target ideal prospect for the future.  
  • With crystal clarity on its ideal prospect and the value proposition across its two product lines, Madrax and Thomas Steele, Craft Impact was able to empower Graber marketing and sales employees to create content and sales collateral that spoke the same language. 

Direct Quote Sequence ExampleAutomated sales sequence to follow up from quotes in the direct/private pipeline, with multiple steps & tasks for the sales representative.

 

New Inbound Sales Framework

  • The team set out to capture the “low hanging fruit” with prospects and projects that were already in the pipeline. Craft set the direction, crafted personalized email templates, coached the sales reps on leveraging 1:1 video, and implemented the automation tools within HubSpot’s Sales Hub. This effort led to numerous “quick wins” for the sales team while a longer-term approach was being developed. Sales reps were getting engagement on projects that had gone cold or simply needed several follow up attempts:
    • 50% reply rate for projects in Pipeline A
    • 67% reply rate for projects in Pipeline B

Spec Pipeline Sequence Analytics

Pipeline A: (50% reply rate).

Direct Quote Followup Sequence Analytics

Pipeline B: (67.1% reply rate).

  • Working closely with marketing and sales leadership and providing opportunities for employee input, Craft helped Graber develop an overarching inbound system and framework for its lead generation and sales process.
  • Craft improved, defined and/or crafted the implementation of Graber’s overall marketing and sales strategy for:
  • Craft worked with Graber leadership to build out leading indicators for each job position within the marketing and sales teams. Each job description within the org chart now includes a purpose, 3-5 success metrics, and a list of top responsibilities. With this in place, the leadership team is empowered to make decisions within their respective department, while staying in alignment with the overall organizational goals. They can also use these success metrics to track employee progression and implementation of the different stages of the marketing and sales process.

Sales Coaching

  • Craft built a training and coaching framework to develop sales team members and help motivate and inspire them to achieve Graber’s strategic vision as a company.
  • Executing the sales coaching training side-by-side marketing and sales leadership, the Graber sales team learned best practices and were held accountable for the new leading indicators.

Leadership Consulting, Guidance, and Mentorship

  • Identify opportunities with current “people” practices, such as role responsibilities or leadership structure, and make recommendations to bolster organizational performance
  • Craft put in place recurring strategy meetings with the Graber marketing and sales leadership team to listen to new challenges, propose solutions, and continue to proactively drive towards implementing the inbound sales framework.

PRINT Survey Implementation and Analysis

  • Craft worked with Graber to institute PRINT surveys for each employee and incoming hires, showcasing  each individual’s strengths, areas for growth, and preferred communication styles
  • Using an analysis of PRINT survey data, Craft and Graber leadership built out individual growth plans for each sales team employee.

Implementation and Training of HubSpot Sales Tools

  • Craft worked with Graber sales and marketing team members as a group and individually to train on best practices for Hubspot Sales tools including the Sales Pipeline and Automated Sequences for personalized follow-up to hundreds or thousands at a time.
  • Craft helped Graber define data input criteria (close date and a check-in system to hold sales team members accountable and ensure accuracy across the various pipelines: allowing Graber leadership to create accurate revenue projections.

Graber Sequence Analytics Example

Analytics from automated sales sequences sent in 2022 to nurture contacts into opportunities.

Results:

  • Since beginning the marketing and sales partnership with Craft Impact in early 2020, Graber experienced tremendous growth, increasing sales revenue 1.4x or 140% in 2021.
  • Following a record Q1 - Q3 in 2022, Graber was able to project 17% revenue growth for 2022.

 

Ready to grow your business?

hilary graber"We've been working with Craft Impact now for over two years and we cannot say enough positive things about their work and their team. Our sales team is responsive to what Craft Impact has to say and has really benefited from their insights and direction. They’ve also helped us understand the full benefits HubSpot has to offer. Their team is great to work with, too!"

-Hilary Graber, Co-Owner & Sales & Accounting Manager

PHASE II

GRABER'S ORGANIZATIONAL CHALLENGES

Preparing for Additional Growth

Now on target for 2022 orders, Graber needed a plan to effectively evolve and scale the business, particularly with marketing, sales and customer service, to reflect its current and future growth.  Areas of need include:

  • Strategic Revenue Forecasting Per Pipeline: Having experienced a significant increase in one specific type of pipeline sales during the pandemic, Graber core leadership team sought to establish ambitious revenue goals minimizing the long-term reliance on this pipeline and increasing opportunities for another type of pipeline.  They were seeking specific direction as to what these numbers should be each year, over how many years, with expectations for weighted % revenue per pipeline, and what steps should be taken to put the strategic plan into action.
  • Commerce (Marketing & Sales) Organizational Restructuring: With a relatively small but growing commerce team in place, Graber was trying to figure out how to ensure long-term marketing and sales alignment, restructure leadership, and best position the company for growth the next 5+ years.
  • Job Descriptions, KPIs, and Accountability: Outdated marketing and sales job descriptions for current roles needed to be updated to reflect the company’s current and future growth, with more specific responsibilities and KPI’s that could be tracked and monitored on a regular basis.  New roles also needed to be created, particularly with an expanding sales team, with new responsibilities and KPI metrics.
  • Compensation Structure: With new roles and KPIs, Graber needed to explore and establish new compensation structures for commerce employees.
  • Change Communication Plans: Graber realized with organizational changes, potential shifts in compensation, and new revenue targets, an internal change communication plan and timeline was essential for current employees.
  • Optimizing Technology & Reporting: Graber leadership was looking for a way to ensure marketing and sales data accuracy, including dynamic reporting that would coordinate directly with new sales and marketing KPIs and overall target revenue earnings for different pipelines.

THE CRAFT IMPACT SOLUTION

Graber Manufacturing’s partnership with Craft Impact shifted gears in the fall of 2021, emphasizing organizational change and growth in addition to concrete marketing and sales enablement strategies. Working with Graber leadership, Craft helped establish a new organizational chart for commerce, built out new roles and comprehensive job descriptions, crafted a 5 year forecast for revenue weighted by pipeline, and empowered leaders to present and implement change communication plans.  Craft Impact optimized the Hubspot platform to reflect new Graber goals and employee KPIs, creating dashboards for employees and managers to dynamically track their progress.

With a team of marketing, sales, and communication strategists and copywriters, Craft Impact has been able to support Graber’s organizational scalability and growth efforts, through various deliverables: 

Sales Forecasting and Goals Spreadsheet

  • Having input first year fiscal year sales goals and pipelines, Craft put together a tool that allowed Graber leadership to break down specific revenue for each quarter of each year for the next 5 years, based on weighted % increase, current estimates for days to close and each pipeline’s different conversion rate.
  • With clearly understood and defined forecasting, Craft was able to build an organizational strategy for marketing and sales that would reflect the direction of the company and shift from the reliance on one pipeline to increasing the other type.

NEW Graber-Sales-Forecasting-Goals-2023-Google-Sheets (2)5 year fiscal goals, organized by pipeline percentages.

 

NEW Graber-Sales-Forecasting-Goals #2Goals for each year, broken down by quarter, conversion rate, days to close and close date.

 

New Org Chart for Commerce Department

  • Cementing the alignment between marketing and sales, Craft helped Graber establish a “Commerce” organizational chart with the newly appointed Director of Commerce.

Graber Org Chart ExampleOrg chart developed for Graber's future.

Job Descriptions with KPIs & Compensation Structure

  • New Director of Commerce, Sales Manager, and Account Executive job descriptions created with specific responsibilities and KPIs that could be monitored and dynamically tracked.
  • Outdated marketing and sales job descriptions were updated, with more specific responsibilities and KPI’s: Regional Sales Manager, Marketing/Brand Manager, Sales Development Representative, Marketing Coordinator, and Marketing Assistant.
  • Explored and provided strategic direction on modified compensation structure for current and future positions: Regional Sales Manager, Sales Manager, Account Executive.

NEW Graber-Commerce-Roles-Sales-Marketing-Google-DocsCommerce leadership success metrics and responsibilities.

 

Change Communication Plan and Presentation 

  • Having established organizational changes, Craft worked with Graber to establish an implementation timeline, including meeting presentations and communications for current employees. 
  • Craft developed a change communication presentation aligning Graber’s company values with its newly articulated commerce objectives, establishing updated responsibilities and KPIs and setting the scene for future changes.

NEW Regional-Sales-Manager-Metrics-Responsibilities-2022-Google-SlidesSlide from a presentation developed for Graber leadership to present upcoming changes.

 

Building the New Pipeline: Implementing a Unified Marketing and Sales Account Based Marketing (ABM) Plan

  • With clearly forecasted revenue goals and defined metrics, Craft was able to put an actionable account based marketing strategy in place to reflect Graber’s new initiatives to increase a previously untapped pipeline.
  • Craft worked with Commerce leadership to prioritize and plan “target” or top companies for each of the 4 sales “territories,” using specific criteria to determine which companies would be most important for future growth. 
  • Anticipating employee questions and educational opportunities with the roll-out of the new target company initiative, Craft coached and empowered Graber leadership to share best sales practices for nurturing relationships in a digital world.  Craft created a customized slidedeck and blog article as a resource for Graber employees to use in executing their outreach to target companies.
  • Craft established an ad campaign strategy with the Graber marketing department to specifically target ideal prospect roles within the top companies for each territory, demonstrating further alignment between marketing and sales.

Graber Sales Coaching Resource ExampleSales coaching resource example developed for Graber sales team.

 

Commerce Dashboards

  • Using overall Graber initiatives and territory KPIs, Craft created specific Hubspot dashboards with dynamic reporting for individual Sales Regional Managers (per territory), Director of Commerce, and Sales Manager roles.
  • Craft coached Graber leadership to use dashboards and reporting in frequent supervisory check-ins with employees, to track and monitor progress towards newly defined KPIs.
  • Craft created dynamic dashboards for Commerce leadership to use specifically in monthly marketing and sales team meetings with reports that show department wide progress towards pipeline initiatives and overall revenue goals.

Graber Rep KPI Dashboard Example

HubSpot KPI Dashboard for a Graber Sales Rep.

Graber Sales Manager KPI Dashboard Example

HubSpot KPI Dashboard for Sales Manager.

 

2022 Results:

  • Anticipated 170%+ in total revenue projected for 2022 from 2019
  • Record Q1 2022 orders and sales numbers, with highest January, February, and March, June and July ever recorded
  • Created 5 year strategic revenue goals to guide decision-making, with % per pipeline expectations
  • Developed org-chart for scalability: job roles, responsibilities, and metrics for marketing, sales, and customer service teams

With a clear 5-year vision and goals, an organizational structure and job descriptions to achieve that vision, and a unified commerce strategy to share the value of Madrax and Thomas Steele products with our ideal prospects, Graber Manufacturing is well-positioned to scale and grow to achieve their ambitious goals.

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