The legend originated at an Intelisys Super9 event.
The Super9 program is an industry-first transformative event aimed to train Sales Partners to sell cloud services in the channel. Each event includes a cloud case study competition: a fun, competitive way to fire up our Sales Partners and give them hands-on problem-solving experience. In these competitions, small groups of attendees prepare a mock “case study” and present it to a panel of judges the following morning. The winners bask in everlasting glory, their success recorded in channel history.
Against all the odds, Lucas Salvage led his team to a resounding triumph.
How did it happen?
Lucas and his team were not born champions. They had to conquer many obstacles to find their way to victory. After briefly preparing for their presentation, he and his team stayed up all night (and well into the next morning) “networking” with a group of Intelisys Supplier Partners. When it came time to present, his team struggled to make it in front of the judges. Even then, the team was underprepared and weighed down by sleep deprivation.
Through sheer wit, charisma and force of will, Lucas Salvage crushed the presentation. The judges watched in awe as he led a riveting and inspiring case study. What he lacked in polish, he made up for with enthusiasm and insight. This was the moment Lucas Salvage became the Legend of Super9.
That’s how a top performer operates. As Lucas says, “If competition is involved, I’m going after it.”
The Speed of a Bullet Train
Could Lucas Salvage be the next Gary Vaynerchuk? GaryVee is a virally popular entrepreneur, author, and social media leader. With Lucas’ larger-than-life personality, he has the potential to be a serious influencer. He could rock a daily video blog – whether he discussed technology, leadership, or the cloud, people would want to listen. If his Super9 fame is any indication, he’d have a huge following in short order.
So who is Lucas Salvage?
Lucas Salvage is Vice President of Business Development and Cloud Specialist at OnCall Telecom International. Listening to him, you might think he’d been in that role for decades; but Lucas actually worked his way up from the role of Account Executive. He joined OnCall 13 years ago when they were still called Comverge Telecom.
Lucas, a self-identified extrovert, provides unmatched leadership for the OnCall team. He inspires his people. It’s no surprise to hear they have over 900 Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 clients. By contrast, the efficiency of their operations team is astonishing. They have a mere five operations associates servicing over 900 accounts.
The Challenge of Staying in Front of Customers
Staying in front of 900 clients poses a challenge, but staying top-of-mind is critical. Nobody understands this better than Lucas Salvage. He kicks himself hard if his customers buy a product he sells from a competitor, just because they didn’t know OnCall carried that product. This situation is a red flag to his team, indicating that they haven’t successfully educated their customers. Lucas recently created a system to prevent that from ever happening again. His new strategy empowers the Sales Team to know their products inside and out. They educate their customers thoroughly so OnCall remains the first call.
How OnCall Does It
Lucas believes that a sale should be more than just a transaction. It shouldn’t end when a piece of paper is signed; it should end only once solutions are have been implemented and the customer feels happy. This philosophy keeps Lucas and the OnCall team striving to do better. The strength of their process, including their back-office operations, and that of their client relationships drives their success.
When OnCall developed their back-office operations, they targeted two areas for improvement:
- Customer interactions
- The speed of implementation
Now OnCall has developed a fail-proof implementation process. They move through the discovery and design phases quickly and follow up with their customer when the implementation is underway. Their team understands all aspects of the sales cycle and gets things done. They handle complexities like the implementation of a network, a voice service, or cloud infrastructure.
The Challenge of Finding The Right People
When it comes to hiring talent, Lucas doesn’t hire salespeople for their technical sales ability or even their telecom experience. He employs people who fit into the OnCall culture, which he describes as “work hard, play hard.” As the living Legend of Super9, Lucas himself encapsulates this culture perfectly.
Beyond the culture fit, Lucas looks for people with some relationship-building experience on their resume. In his view, relationships are what business is all about.
He perseveres in his search until he finds exactly the right fit for OnCall. Lucas can’t always precisely pinpoint what constitutes the right fit, but he knows it when he sees it.
A Brainy Way to Better Relationships
Personality assessments have helped Lucas Salvage create deep relationships quickly. And he happened to just “stumble” upon this approach.
When OnCall purchased Geeks On Call in 2009, employees of the company were required to take DiSC personality assessments. DiSC evaluates personalities in terms of four key quadrants: dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness.
In his experience, these assessments are “eerily accurate.”
Engage Them. Don’t Annoy Them.
So if you score high in the “D” category, which stands for dominance, Lucas will know you don’t want to be bothered with how the weekend went. You also probably don’t want to be asked about your kids or hobbies. You just want to get down to brass tacks of business.
By tailoring your approach to the individual, you can engage (rather than annoy) your clients. You could use this tactic to customize your sales strategy based on your client’s personality type. You could also use it to assess job candidates, to get another perspective and determine their fit in your company.
Leverage Your Channels and Add Value
Lucas Salvage is no stranger to the channel: he knows how to make it work. His team leverages a typical CRM used in the telecom world, a product called RPM Telco. Unlike most technology advisor companies, OnCall has enabled their Ops team and their Sales team through RPM. Both arms of the organization have full access to the entire platform and every module. They use it to manage customer relationships and drive operations.
OnCall’s workflow goes from the Sales side to the Ops side seamlessly. “Those guys do a great job at setting triggers within [the RPM] platform,” Lucas explains. Those triggers ensure customers get follow-ups from the platform at the right moment.
What’s up this year? Lucas and his team at OnCall are making an effort to strategically utilize the technology they offer. They plan to revamp their collaboration and marketing by leveraging conferencing solutions, drip marketing, and email campaigns. They also intend to use newsletters and blogging to become thought leaders in the channel.
To hear more Lucas Salvage on Channel Outlaws, tie up your horse and step into our saloon.