Essilor Labs, the world’s leading eyeglass lens provider, wanted to use its sales organization to drive growth. The company’s executives envisioned transitioning from independent local sales reps to a strategic national sales organization that would differentiate Essilor, a premium provider, from its competitors.
Throughout the United States, Essilor operates more than 100 labs—many of which were prior acquisitions. Representatives from these labs work with eye care professionals (ECP) in private practice and other institutional settings. They must avoid discounting and commodity approaches to selling Essilor products, helping ECPs see the value of the company’s technology, the benefits of its innovative lenses, and the unintended consequences of using inferior products.
Ultimately, the way they sold had to create a competitive advantage. But change engenders resistance. After all, the sales professionals had experienced success with previous approaches.
Together, Scott and Matt Jones, Essilor’s VP of organizational capability, created a framework to transform the sales organization. The implementation included work with company leaders to align objectives and develop clear accountability and focus. In addition to providing a uniform sales process based on Essilor’s best practices, much effort went toward prioritizing management’s involvement in developing sales talent, designing measurement systems, and territory planning to improve the reps’ performance in the field. Forging a strong partnership, Scott and Matt identified opportunities and addressed obstacles to make this significant change.
It worked. Over the course of the engagement, Essilor’s revenue more than doubled, and net sales increased by 74 percent in the first year. “Part of that growth is clearly attributable to the thought leadership Scott brought to the team,” said Matt. The company, which is listed on the Global 2000, Forbes’ list of the world’s 2,000 largest, most powerful companies, continues to thrive.