By | January 30, 2020

Sphera recently hosted our annual Sales Kickoff Meeting in January, and it was anything but boring! One of the best elements of our meeting was the talented PRIDE Momentum News team that hosted the three-day event. Sphera’s own Neal Rosen, Sarah Teague, Andy Johnson, Jessica Nelson John Westby and Philippe Guillard entertained the audience with an ’80s throwback (Ron Burgundy-style) television news segment. Check out the opening video for the Chanel 20 PRIDE News.

Day 1

The PRIDE Momentum News team welcomed more than 140 colleagues from around the world to the beautiful Loews Chicago Hotel.

Each year, our chief revenue officer, Dan Keenan, selects a theme. In 2020 that theme is “Momentum.”  View the motivational video.

Keenan opened SKO 2020 with an explanation that the law of momentum is that an object in motion will stay in motion until it meets a resisting force. He then explained how the EHS&S industry faces new resistance every day and the daily challenges faced by our clients, whether it be product development, sourcing, procurement, technology, environmental or regulatory, all add up to a business that is constantly finding its way around resistance and pushing forward.

The Law of Momentum: An object in motion will stay in motion until it meets a resisting force. Keep pushing forward.

Momentum is also a business force and can be described as a series of successes.

Keenan and Paul Marushka, Sphera’s president and CEO, shared insights learned in 2019 and encouraged the sales organization to continue to build momentum in 2020. With three acquisitions in 2019 (Petrotechnics, SiteHawk and thinkstep) and further development of the SpheraCloud platform, the message was clear that Sphera has been gaining momentum—and we will keep pushing forward.

The group also gained insight on technology and roadmaps, along with a preview of the new Portfolio Taxonomy. Two new Spherions, Marc Binder and Matthias Münzing shared an introduction to sustainability and explained why we do what we do. Tying back to Sphera’s mission of creating a safer, more sustainable and productive world; they also provided an overview of the new solutions added to Sphera’s portfolio following the thinkstep acquisition.

Day 1 sessions concluded with a half-day sales skills session hosted by sales consultant John Costigan. The team learned cold calling techniques and heard tips for connecting with a prospect that is difficult to reach.

PRIDE Awards

Sphera hosted an awards dinner on the first day to celebrate the Sales & Service organization success in 2019. Each award winner received the coveted crystal PRIDE award.

2019 PRIDE Award Winners

Renewals Representative 2019: Chuck Hansen

SDR Rep 2019: Natasha Coetzee

Inside Sales Representative 2019: Zena Yasir Knogl

Customer Success 2019: Kip Carter

Strategic Account Manager (Americas) 2019: Shabbir Razakazee

Strategic Account Manager (EMEA) 2019: Catherine Reynolds

Solution Engineer/Excellence Achievement Award 2019: Irfan Mamoojee

Excellence Achievement Award 2019: Fraser Goodey

Paul Marushka, center, Sphera’s president and CEO, is surrounded by PRIDE award winners and Dan Keenan, Sphera’s chief revenue officer, who is on the far right.

Day 2

The PRIDE Momentum newscast returned on Day 2 by congratulating the award winners from the previous evening.

The Momentum News Team is, from left, Philippe Guillard. Sarah Teague, Jessica Nelson, Andy Johnson and Neal Rosen

Day 2 was all about proof points for building momentum in 2020. The group heard from the Sales Operations team (led by Andrew Gildin), Customer Care (led by Joni McHugh), the Digital Solutions Group (led by Philippe Guillard), Marketing (led by John Westby) and the Services team (led by Mark Stach).

Another success story was shared by Goodey and Mamoojee for a recent opportunity. The duo explained the history of the project/RFP and how the organization’s health, safety, security and environment executives agreed last year to implement an end-to-end integrated incident management. The goal was to target improvements across the full incident management process (from the front-end user experience and the associated steps for managing incidents) through to improving governance, reporting and ownership. The company selected SpheraCloud because of its integrated technology, Sphera’s credibility and a legacy relationship.

Solution Carousels

Toward the end of Day 2, the group needed movement and networking. The solution carousel introduced a fresh, interactive format to traditional product training. In a “speed dating” setting the group was divided by industry and visited solution area experts (Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability, Operational Risk Management and Product Stewardship). Rotating to a new solution every 60-minutes, each industry group received customized, in-dept product training. The goal of the sessions was to educate the sales organization on the “most popular capabilities” of Sphera’s solutions, so they can build momentum.

With the group successfully trained and overflowing with knowledge, the obvious next step was pingpong. A fun evening of networking and laughter at SPIN was hugely successful and entertaining. Let’s just say, not every Spherion has an Olympic future ahead of them, at least not in table tennis.

Day 3

The last day of SKO 2020 started with another sales success story to motivate the group. Iain Mackay, Sphera’s group vice president, Operational Risk sales, and Rob Saade, Sphera’s services director, explained the many facets of a recent opportunity. The company was looking to replace its internally developed system (with over 10,000 users) in all global operations. There were a few key requirements for the Sphera team to meet:

  • The company did not want to lose the benefit of their current system.
  • The company wanted a commercial, off-the-shelf solution.
  • The company wanted a proven market product.
  • The company wanted a solution from a verified, trusted and reputable company. Mackay and Saade shared how this opportunity grew in scope from an initial request for proposal in 2018 to project execution in 2020.

Following a short Sales Operations presentation on best practices for Forecasting by Andrew Gildin and Megan Lloyd attention was directed to the individual industry/sales leads to provide a preview of their individual go-to-market Strategies. Josh Edward (Industrials), Lance Hunter (Oil & Gas), Jean Aouad (Chemicals) and Jessica Nelson (Inside Sales) each provided insight into their successes and challenges of 2019 as well as the focus areas in 2020. These sales plans were the ideal lead-in to the final segment of SKO 2020 Opportunity Planning.

To test the group on their weeklong learning, nine individuals were selected at random to present a short summary of one existing 2020 opportunity. Each was asked about what they planned to do differently knowing what they learned from their peers. A great ending to an extraordinary SKO and a true acknowledgement of the expertise and talent of the Sphera team.

After all, momentum demands movement. That’s why Sphera keeps pushing forward.