Five-star restaurants. Trips to Europe. Cash incentives.
At audio branding agency PHMG, these perks are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cultivating a positive and collaborative environment for sales professionals to succeed. There, teammate support and mentorship from leaders turn into more than tangible rewards, however: they lead to continued growth.
“We all truly want each other to succeed, so we push each other to be the best we can be, which I think has a positive effect on everyone’s performance,” Courtney Harjung, a client engagement manager, said.
For Michael McClure, the vice president of business development, a foundation of support is essential to landing big wins. Company events, such as biannual sales conferences and trips to U.K. headquarters, not only promote team-building but also professional development.
Both Harjung and McClure agree a collaborative sales culture keeps the team motivated and closing deals. When Harjung had the opportunity to shadow McClure on the road, she shared her experience with the inside sales team and now helps curate their pitches. McClure said the teamwork displayed between the inside and outside sales team is what most excites him about PHMG.
“Unlike other companies, everyone is rooting for each other, and it makes it much easier for us to do our jobs and grow the company,” McClure said.
Below, Harjung and McClure told Built In Chicago how both the resources provided by PHMG and its “people-first” company culture fueled their career growth, and even led to some pretty exciting promotions.
What are your role and responsibilities at PHMG?
Michael McClure: I’m the vice president of business development, which involves training new outside sales staff, managing the outside sales team and conducting meetings with business owners, CEOs and presidents to help them see the value of audio branding. I’m also involved in the hiring process to bring the world’s best talent to the company.
Courtney Harjung: My role is client engagement manager, which means I manage calendar and travel arrangements for the entire outside sales team, and screen all meetings to ensure they present a viable opportunity with the decision-maker. This gives our business development managers a strong chance at securing new business and helps both the individual and PHMG surpass targets.
What first attracted you to PHMG?
McClure: I came from a background in corporate sales, and I’ve always been passionate about music, so when I discovered I’d be able to sell audio branding and help businesses unlock the power of sound, I jumped at the chance. I was also attracted to the teamwork displayed between the inside and outside sales teams. Unlike other companies, everyone is really rooting for each other, and our events and CSR activities really strengthen the bonds between us. It makes it much easier for us to do our jobs and grow the company.
What PHMG Does
Harjung: I studied business management in college and had some sales experience working with North Western Mutual, so I was immediately attracted to the opportunity at PHMG. A recruiter reached out to me and I saw the value in the product straight away, and I also knew it would be an exciting service to sell.
Tell us about your career journey.
McClure: I joined PHMG three years ago when we were operating in just a few states in the U.S., so there was a lot of room for growth. We now sell all over the country, and I’m proud to be part of the team managing all those people. PHMG rewards hard work and results, so there’s a great deal of upward mobility available for people like me who always strive to be at the top.
Harjung: When I first started at PHMG, I worked really hard and became the first person to earn promotion by hitting my target for six consecutive months. This led me to be awarded with the ‘Newcomer of the Year’ title, which is still one of my greatest accomplishments. I had the chance to visit our U.K. headquarters and when I returned, I was promoted to client engagement manager. This role has allowed me to be more involved in many aspects of the company, and I get to work closely with both the inside and outside sales teams. I really enjoy being the go-to person for the sales department.
Tell us about the opportunities for professional development at PHMG.
McClure: We have biannual sales conferences with the entire outside sales team across the U.S. and U.K., which gives us the opportunity to regroup and celebrate our achievements. We also have regular one-on-ones with upper management alongside field training, and get the chance to take trips to the U.K. headquarters to shadow other top-performing business development managers. I’ve also personally been involved in piloting new products and processes, and I feel like my opinion is always valued.
Harjung: Because I work so closely with the inside sales team, I listen to all their sales calls to help them find the pitch that suits their personality. I’ve also had the opportunity to go out on the road with Michael McClure, a top-performing outside sales rep, and I now share my experiences of what happens after the appointment is booked with my team. I regularly lead training sessions for our new starters and attend training myself to continuously improve for the benefit of the team.
What’s the culture like among the sales team?
Harjung: It’s a really fun environment that makes people enjoy coming to work every day. There’s always something going on like incentives or activities to keep things fresh and interesting, and although we all work incredibly hard, we have fun while doing it.
I think it says a lot about the company culture and our relationship as a team. We all truly want each other to succeed, so we push each other to be the best we can be, which I think has a positive effect on everyone’s performance. I won the ‘Employees’ Employee’ award at our annual Winter Wonderland event last year. I was nominated and voted for by my colleagues, which was a great feeling.
There’s always something going on like incentives or activities to keep things fresh and interesting.”
What is the future of audio branding and why is it so important? What is PHMG doing that no other company is doing?
McClure: The phone is essential for businesses and consumers, which makes it such an important channel for audio branding. PHMG helps clients create the most engaging, informative and on-brand caller experience. Our tech-fueled, creative solutions are allowing businesses everywhere to maximize the potential of their phone systems. We’re operating at the cutting-edge of communications technology, and it’s here that audio branding will make the most valuable difference.
Harjung: Audio branding is something not many other companies are providing, and no one else is doing it to the standard we are. When we make owners and CEOs aware of the benefits of the product, they’re always incredibly enthusiastic about its potential.
What traits do you look for when hiring salespeople?
Harjung: To succeed in this role, I think it’s important to be outgoing, hardworking, competitive and a true people person. It’s also important that our candidates come from a sales background, whether they have experience selling in-person or over the phone. This helps in forming relationships with prospects.