Success Stories: Team Leadership

Success in coaching and motivating diverse teams of staff and independent channel partners means much more than meeting performance metrics and sales quotas. I have received commendations for my ability to acknowledge that each team member brings unique skills and aptitude and begins each workday motivated by different reasons to do the job.  

Online Recruitment Events

Called upon to organize and host a web-based recruitment outreach event for a US government-hosted foreign direct investment (FDI) event, as Commercial Officer at the US Embassy in Bucharest I rallied colleagues from nine other Southeast Europe countries for an online program to recruit delegates. I drew upon my proven success in “Management by Permission,” (i.e., the gentle art of directing another supervisor’s staff members) and applied my skills in convening and uniting people from disparate cultures and histories.

This program yielded what became the largest-ever delegation from the region to attend the annual event, and it is now a template for low-cost, web-based outreach serving multiple industry sectors.

Winning Early Adopters of Consumer Electronics

The consumer electronics sector moves at breakneck speeds, fed by trends and by the whims of short-attention-span early adopters … often responding to no more than a hunch. The lifecycle of consumer electronics in the mobile telephony sector is minute, prompting manufacturers to jump in, capture top margins, and jump out in time to figure out the next trend, all before the market shifts downward to lower-cost, next-generation imitations. 

I was on a development and marketing team racing to introduce the world’s first Bluetooth mobile phone headset in the early 2000s.

The success of work cycles performed by a bicultural, binational team split between California and Denmark required acknowledgment of diverse cultures and business styles.

My task was to woo, sign, and motivate channel partners in North America, Europe and Asia—a global matrix of wireless carriers, specialty electronic catalogs, and big box retailers and their legions of brokers and distributors. Fed by co-op-funded incentives and eye-catching point-of-purchase identity and packaging schemes, our company made its mark as first-in, best-dressed among competitive products. We debuted our first-generation lines at the Consumer Electronics Show, buoyed by celebrity endorsements, and do-or-die print and media reviews.

Our efforts accelerated the company’s successful sale to a multinational competitor.  

Startups and Funds Acquisition

Technology startups do all they can to leverage limited funds, especially in the pre-acquisition phase. As a private sector advisor who has worked in such venues, I know how it feels to be down to the last minute with only two dimes to rub together. That is why I leveraged the reach and efficiency of the US Foreign Commercial Service at embassies in several countries to band together with market-building services, thereby avoiding duplication of efforts and reduction of cash outlay for our US clients. 

For a provider of medical technology, I directed a group of colleagues in seven neighboring countries to conduct a virtual roadshow that targeted government procurement officials. The company noted that this simplification and reduction of marketing costs accelerated their entry into these hard-to-reach countries.

Return to Global Sales Channel Formation and Leadership

Tom Hanson
Your Channel Architect