Making a quick decision that would have significant impact on the organization

Situation

I was leading the strategy for the largest client of our product development agency and was overseeing the launch of new digital sales tools I had conceptualized for their independent dealer network to use within the product showroom during their biggest trade show of the year. With just a week before the show, the client was still building out the showroom and modifying the layouts to accommodate various electrical and design issues. As a result, we were unable to get into the showroom to populate the content of the app, prepare all the related training materials, or test the implementation process as planned.

Task

I needed to find a way to keep the client looking good to their sales channel, who had been sold a high expectation for the client’s digital transformation work and promised a cutting edge sales approach for the year’s biggest event. The app had to work, be populated with the correct content, and the training needed to run flawlessly when the sales force arrived the day before the show for their onboarding.

Action

I met with my leadership team to identify which team members could be pulled out of other client meetings so that we could take a small group up to Chicago to work remotely. Working with the client’s onsite crew, I implemented a process for prioritizing completing each product station so that I could take interim photography that a team member would edit and publish. I personally took ownership of getting the app and training collateral ready on-site as we populated the app throughout the night into the morning when the sales force arrived for onboarding. Instead of using our normal testing and deployment process, I personally ran through device testing with a remote developer and troubleshooter the app with the on-premise client team.

Result

The app launched in time for the sales force to be training. The content was accurate, the photography sufficient, and the functionality of the app worked great. The salesforce was blown away by the app and visitors to the showroom were later found to have been talking about it at other vendors’ booths. Some even came by asking to see it.

The client was very pleased with the the sales tools going live, having a high level of quality, and avoiding cost overruns despite their delays in getting the showroom ready as planned. Their confidence in my ability to deliver on time and on budget, even when hiccups occur, spurred more projects that might have previously seemed as a risk for a small firm like our own.

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