S3 Spotlight: Bill Glenn Explains–How to Expand your Skill Set to Advance Your Career

S3 Spotlight: Bill Glenn Explains–How to Expand your Skill Set to Advance Your Career
Bill Glenn
Bill Glenn
by Justin Pipes – February 2014

Bill Glenn is President of The Breakout Group, a boutique consulting firm that creates sales and marketing strategies to challenge norms and produce breakout results for brands and sports/entertainment organizations. His thinking is built on a foundation of deep sales and marketing expertise and both an agency and client-side perspective as it relates to integrated marketing programs in sports and entertainment, including big data and program analytics. Glenn has a both a Bachelor’s in Journalism and MBA in Marketing from the University of Missouri.

Build a Skill Set Foundation: Start with Sales

Glenn’s career started as a Marketing Associate with GTE (now Verizon) where he had three, six-month assignments in direct marketing, product management and sales. Although he doubted sales would ever be something he enjoyed, the brief experience felt like such a great fit he remained in B2B “consultative” sales and sales management for the next ten years.

Over this time, Bill learned the critical importance of blending strong customer relationships with a keen understanding of the assets you’re selling:

Great relationships uncover business needs while asset knowledge delivers the best client solution.  

Understanding this dynamic is the key to any successful business strategy. Through this experience, he was able to learn how sales and marketing are co-dependent functions in delivering client success. Additionally, Bill says, “Sales taught me the importance of having a broad knowledge base and understanding how all the parts of an organization work together to enable revenue.”

Build the Bridge: Understand How Sales and Marketing Work Together

Bill's Skills

After 10 years in sales, Glenn wanted to extend his skill set to brand marketing and marketing communications. He took over trade show marketing and strategy at GTE and was able to learn how messaging and technology at an event can deliver product value in a different context and what value this communication channel offers a field sales organization.

Bill quickly transitioned to leading GTE’s sports marketing and sponsorship group, where he leveraged his prior roles to understand how to leverage partnership assets in unique ways to produce value for both consumer and B2B target segments. His sales experience offered credibility and improved his productivity when interfacing with business and consumer-related field sales teams.  

Balancing the objectives of multiple organizations in this sponsorship role yielded a solid understanding of the company’s overall brand strategy and also improved the effectiveness of sponsorship investment. With this knowledge he was able to determine the best values in a sponsorship package.

Focus on Results: Learn About (and Learn to Like) Data

Check Box

Having a strong understanding of sales and brand marketing, Glenn decided to extend his skill set (adding research/analytics) and perspective (agency side) in joining The Marketing Arm where he launched the agency’s first Insights and Analytics practice.  In this role, he learned how to leverage primary and secondary research and measure program performance using statistical models to help clients understand the impact of marketing strategy and programs. It was a tremendous experience in learning how to find meaningful data points to both support and direct marketing and sales strategy.

Build Value: An Extended Skill Set Yields New Perspectives and Experience

Merrill Dubrow
Merrill Dubrow

Today, Bill is putting all these skills to use in consulting with brands and sports/entertainment organizations in creating integrated programs and building sales and marketing strategies that make a difference.

Merrill Dubrow, President and CEO of M/A/R/C Research, says, “Bill has a very diverse background having been on both the client and agency side. Very few people have the ability to offer clients sales and marketing expertise, including analytics, as well as an agency/vendor perspective.” Dubrow went on to say, “When dealing with clients, having been one of them, he is able to quickly gather keen insights thanks to this varied experience and perspective.” Dubrow’s comments reinforce how well Glenn knows sales and marketing and how extending your skill set over a career can pay dividends both personally and professionally.

Have Desire: To Learn

Keys to success

As an Adjunct Professor of Marketing, Glenn mentors many students and young professionals.  He says, “I just try to get students to think differently. The first 5-10 years of a career should be spent getting a broad base of perspectives and by extending your skill set through experience.”

Glenn says he hears many say they “want to work in sports” but that desire depends heavily on understanding sales and marketing. He continued, “It is much easier for me to teach someone the sports business than it is to teach marketing and sales skills. The latter, for the most part, is developed through experience.”

Glenn also coaches students to concentrate less on who they’re working for and more on the role their current job will play over the course of their career. In other words, what’s your dream and what perspectives and experience will enable you to reach that destination?

Learners or lookers: How to tell if sales reps will earn or burn!

Learners or lookers: How to tell if sales reps will earn or burn!
by Kirk Wakefield – November 2013

How do you know the difference between a sales rep who’s going to make it and those who won’t?

Research tell us that one way is to look at whether they’re learners or lookers.

What do learners look like?

Learners  are the sales reps who focus on mastering new situations, exploring tasks, acquiring new skills, and learning from experience, all with an ultimate goal of self-improvement.

How do you know if you have a learner? When learners face a challenge they will:

  1. probe problems,
  2. persist,
  3. escalate effort,
  4. seek feedback, and
  5. seek solutions.

Obviously, you don’t have a learner if they avoid problems, give up, keep doing what they’ve been doing, don’t ask for help, and don’t solve problems.

What do lookers look like?

Some reps just want to look like they’re doing something instead of doing it. They are out to prove themselves to others instead of just improving.

Lookers  focus on appearing competent to others and gaining favorable evaluations. They run away from challenges that might pose the risk of making mistakes. Instead their ultimate goal is positive self-presentation and impression management.

How do you know if you have a looker? When lookers face a challenge they will:

  1. avoid challenging tasks,
  2. withdraw from the task,
  3. set low goals,
  4. make negative ability attributions, and
  5. demonstrate a helpless response.

In contrast, learners will embrace the challenge, set high goals, assume they have the ability to figure it out, and will even want to help others meet and beat the challenge.

What about your staff?

George Killebrew, Executive Vice President, Dallas Mavericks, breaks down the importance of learning and adapting:

George Killebrew
George Killebrew

“Our staff  includes those with us just a short time as well as those who’ve been with us 14 years and even 22 years.  They all realize that they must keep up with the ever changing world of sponsorship–from understanding digital, to mobile, to social media, to all the latest trends.  If they fail to adapt, they become dinosaurs.  This is a fairly young at heart business and you must have the stamina to keep up!  Not just physically working 50 home games each year, but mentally with all the new inventory that comes our way and the changing trends in our industry. Those that fail to adapt, unfortunately have to go.  It’s learn or leave!”

Look carefully at your sales team. Is everyone on board a true learner? What answers would you get if you showed them the five characteristics of learners and lookers and asked, “Which one are you?”

Take action

Do you have a bunch of learners or lookers? Can lookers learn to be learners? What can you do to challenge your group to keep learning?

Click the Twitter or LinkedIn buttons below to share with others and keep the conversation going. Tweet to us @kirkwakefield, @georgekillebrew, #learners!


Read the original research here: Chai, J., Zhao, G., & Babin, B. J. (2012). An Empirical Study on the Impact of Two Types of Goal Orientation and Salesperson Perceived Obsolescence on Adaptive Selling. Journal Of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 32(2), 261-274.

March Madness! Selling sports, sponsorships, social media platforms, and your personal brand

March Madness! Selling sports, sponsorships, social media platforms, and your personal brand
by Kirk Wakefield – March 2013

Brittney Griner Sells

No one rises above everyone else like Brittney Griner. She’s the tall one in the picture.

Brittney has scored over 3000 points (currently 4th all-time) and over 700 blocks (1st all-time, men or women). Brittney sells Baylor sports. Attendance for Baylor’s women’s basketball continues to rank near the top in the nation, frequently filling the Ferrell Center near or at its 10,347 capacity. We expect Brittney to take her skills to the WNBA next year, but she could succeed in the business of selling sports. Brittney has developed her own personal brand and communicates it clearly through her behavior and performance.

What about you?

[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”raised” width=”150px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]March Authors [slideshow_deploy id=’1318′]

[/dropshadowbox]Each of us can do the same. We need to think carefully about our own personal brands. One of the ways we do that is to be intentional about our leadership style. Jeremy Walls introduces the Daniel Sports & Entertainment Leadership Summit to help us do just that. The Leadership Freak, Dan Rockwell, shares three qualities traditional leaders lack and that successful leaders need to adopt. This article has already been shared by over 500 Leadership Freak fans.

Ken Troupe introduced the basics last month. This month we learn how to communicate our personal brands through social media. Teams would do well to learn HOW NOT TO RUN A TWITTER ACCOUNT.

Taking it a step further, Ben Milsom explains how social media has changed the nature of successful consultative selling in sports.

Social media platforms have proliferated in the last three years. Nick Schenck, Director of Integrated Media at the Houston Texans, shares what social media strategies and tools work best in the NFL.

Phil Grieco, Director of Sponsorships with the NBA, inspires us to think beyond the normal soup and bolts of sponsorships and ticket sales. What can we blow up and make bigger? Read about the Soup Nazi here.

If you are in charge of hiring new talent or maybe you are the new talent, Jeannette Salas (HR Director, Houston Texans) provides what job candidates need to know. Pass this series of articles along to prospective job applicants and keep on file yourself for the next time you’re on the market.

[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”150px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]March Insights [slideshow_deploy id=’1319′][/dropshadowbox]Dr. Darryl Lehnus, Director of the S3 Program, shows how Baylor students can work with teams, companies, and agencies to produce relevant, innovative sponsorship activation strategies. The AT&T Challenge, initiated by Eric Fernandez, brings student creativity to the forefront each year with AT&T and one of its partners. The S3 Program also announces its Sponsorship Incubator (SI) for those who would like to draw upon the brainstorming skills of young people in the S3 major.

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