Bandalier’s part-time team members have played a key role in our success as we build the New American Workplace. To make sure they get time in the spotlight, we rolled out the 500 Club. It’s a simple structure: once a part-time team member has spent 500 hours working with us, they become a member of the 500 Club.
Why did we pick that number? Partly because it’s nice and round - but mostly because it means that a rep has stuck with us for a significant period of time. For most part-timers, it works out to be about 6 months into their time with Bandalier. That may sound short, but think about your own experiences working part-time - you probably had a lot going on. That’s definitely true for our team members! Some folks are working to round out their sales skills as they build their own businesses; others are considering their career paths and want to see if sales is a good fit for them before committing long-term.
Just like full-time team members, our part-timers are here to build their careers. Regardless of their long-term goals, our part-time reps find quick success with Bandalier. By connecting ambitious talent with fast-growing companies, our clients and reps are able to grow together. We do our best to make it easy to balance schedules - part-timers can set their own. That flexibility means that reps can test the best times of day to reach their prospects - or shift their schedules as new opportunities arise.
The best part of reaching the 500 Club are the celebrations! We announce new members during our weekly wrap-up, and the rep’s manager takes a few minutes to talk about their successes over their first few months. To commemorate the occasion, members of the 500 Club receive Bandalier swag from Vector Apparel (you might remember Jarrod’s company from our Side Hustle Series). Even better, the rep receives 5 full days of paid time-off - and they’re encouraged to use it.
If you’re looking to build your career, whether it’s for 40 hours a week or fewer, check out our hiring page! We’re excited to hear from you.
Abagael Rudock - Client Delivery Manager at Bandalier
Over the last year and a half, companies have shifted toward a remote work experience - some were more enthusiastic about it than others. Fortunately, Bandalier was built with remote work as part of our culture. While we didn’t anticipate shifting into fully remote roles, we were lucky to have a launching pad. According to a recent article from McKinsey, up to 40% of the American workforce could efficiently work remotely. As Bandalier looks toward building the new American workplace, we’ve looked at how to tailor our training to a remote environment. Last week, Matt Scanlon, our head of office, sat down with Frank Frisbie, director of Sales Enablement at SalesIntel, to discuss some tips for remote training.
You can check out the recorded webinar by following this link, or keep reading below.
Clear communication lines early on.
Make sure your new team members understand that you want them to ask questions, and make sure they know who to take those questions to. Prompting folks to ask questions also helps them build relationships with their new colleagues. Keep an eye on where information is coming from and where it’s going, and make sure that you don’t have great information languishing in an under-used Slack channel. Cross-post information to get folks’ attention.
Involve new team members in the learning process.
No one likes to sit through mind-numbing training videos alone. When we have a new rep joining the team, they start with an onboarding call with Matt, who sets the stage for Bandalier University. As our trainees work through the sales curriculum, they have periodic check-ins with their team lead to review the concepts and answer questions. Every few modules, they meet with Matt to practice the skills that they’ve learned. New reps will also work together to practice their new skills and give each other feedback. By incorporating conversations, practice sessions, role plays, and shadowing, our training process is built to help new team members retain more information. We also ask for feedback on the training process once folks have wrapped it up, and we’ve made tweaks based on what we’ve heard from the team - it’s all part of our culture of kaizen.
Make them feel like part of the team.
Starting a new role can be nerve-wracking enough - never mind when you can’t chat with folks in-person to casually find common points of interest. When we have new folks join the team, we introduce them to more folks across the company. They meet our recruiting team first, then some folks on the leadership team, then their manager, then other folks on their pod, and then the rest of the Bandalier team! It can be daunting to meet a ton of folks at once
There are way more “do's and “don’t”s covered in the webinar - follow this link to check out the recording on SalesIntel’s site and see the slide deck.
Abagael Rudock - Client Delivery Manager at Bandalier
Role playing is a common practice in our industry. Most people have at least heard the stereotypical “sell me this pen” reference when discussing sales.
One thing you might not know is that role playing can be extremely helpful in learning key traits of salespeople. So how do we use role plays in our interview process?
If a candidate passes our screening process, they will interview with some of our leadership team for a face-to-face interview via Zoom. During the interview, we conduct a series of role plays designed to assess candidates’ natural questioning skills, self-awareness, and coachability. It looks a little like this:
This exercise also gives the candidate a sense of the culture and training we provide, as well as some sales tips. It is a crucial part to our interview process and usually leaves us with a sense of whether or not we will move forward with the candidate.
Here's an example of the feedback candidates have given about the role plays in our interview process (via Glassdoor):
“I really enjoyed the interview and found the role playing to be helpful in understanding the position..”
Candidates consistently say this is an enjoyable part of the interview because you learn something and it's different from standard interviews.
Here are some tips from our team for you to nail your next roleplay:
We include role plays in our interview process because it allows us to assess communication and selling skills, even when this may be a candidate’s first sales role. If you think you’d excel at a sales role play, take a look at our open positions -- we’re hiring!
Zach Keck - Program Manager at Bandalier
As part of our annual Bandalier Birthday celebrations, each year we like to present one of our employees with the Bandalier Kaizen Award. The nominees for the award are employees that have continuously gone above and beyond to make regular improvements to their own performance as well as the team as a whole. It brings us great joy to announce this year’s award winner: Abby Rudock!
You probably recognize Abby’s name from many of our blog posts she’s written, but her personal trajectory within the company has been truly impressive to follow. Since her arrival at Bandalier in 2019, she’s worked with several clients in different industries as an inside sales rep, and never failed to produce excellent results.
Over time, Abby has also become the go-to person for writing advice, often running workshops on email and LinkedIn topics. Many of us, including last year’s Kaizen Award winner Alex Boucard, view Abby as our go-to person to bounce ideas off of - he said of Abby:
Abby and I started around the same time, and since then she’s always helped me out with great advice. She’s an absolute team player and embodies Kaizen by helping out every person at Bandalier.
A major reason that Abby was nominated for the Award this year, though, is the way she’s stepped into different roles so quickly and crushed it everywhere she went. When Abby became a Program Manager back in February, she went from making calls to managing her own team. Not long after, she found herself managing the largest team in the company. Now she finds herself in the Client Delivery role, serving as an internal advocate for clients to make sure all of their needs are met.
Abby credits her success to the inspiration and guidance she got from her Program Managers. We caught up with her after winning the award, and she told us how much the award meant to her:
Winning the Kaizen Award feels like an amazing capstone to a transformative year. It all felt gradual, but looking back on the last year, it’s amazing to see how much things have changed.
Always humble, she continued about how surreal the experience was having last year’s award winner present her with the award:
I happy-cried a little in surprise! I thought it was going to be someone else until Jeremy said my name, and then there was the surprise of Alex being outside to deliver the award - it was a wild half hour!
We’re grateful to have such incredible professionals like Abby at Bandalier, and look forward to seeing her continue to grow! If you’re interested in working with great young leaders like her or would like to learn more about us, check out our website.
Brenden Gorman - Inside Sales Associate at Bandalier
Lots of folks think of customer service and sales as two opposing fields. At Bandalier, we’ve found the opposite - there are a lot of overlapping skill sets that help our team members succeed.
This one is almost a no-brainer - you have to be able to talk to people. More importantly, you have to be able to steer a conversation. Part of Bandalier’s Sales 101 course is understanding how to break a conversation down into pieces and take it in the right direction. It starts as soon as you connect with someone, and every word, phrase, and pause influences the outcome of the conversation. For folks in customer service, that might mean de-escalating a conversation with a frustrated customer, picking apart their frustration to find the root cause of it. On our sales teams, it means using active listening skills to nail down your prospects’ pain points and communicate the benefits of the client’s product.
Asking better questions is key to success at Bandalier. One pointed question can be enough to shift an entire conversation. For our customer service teams, that might be a close-ended question to diagnose callers’ issues, or to clarify their initial question. On sales programs, a balance of open-ended questions and close-ended questions can help guide a conversation towards a demo.
Regardless of the program’s focus, good questioning skills can go a long way to build rapport during a call. Opening up a sales call with a simple “How have you been?” can disarm wary prospects; “How can I help you?” is a traditional opening for support conversations. With so many folks still working remotely, asking about pets or other background noises can help make the call more personal, and defuse tension. Wrapping up a call or meeting with a question can be helpful, too. “Anything else to cover before we wrap up today?” is a great signal to wrap up a conversation without making folks feel too pressured to end things!
Resilience is a key trait among Bandalier’s team. Sales people are famously resilient - they push through ten denials to get one good call and do it again each hour. For customer service reps, the importance of resilience isn’t always acknowledged, but it plays a key role in their day. They may go from a customer elated with the assistance they received to someone screaming because they had to hold, and the rep has to go with the flow and do their best to provide excellent service to every caller.
Abagael Rudock - Client Delivery Manager