Pearl Izumi

Industry: Sports Apparel Manufacturer (soft consumer goods)
Size of Company: 500 employees
Results: The company saw a 10% jump in sales after the first 90 days following the initial training program. Additionally, after 4 years, Pearl still engages with Janek for monthly sales call review sessions.

Two things were high back in mid-2008: gas prices and sales at Pearl Izumi. Although there was no proven correlation between those two certainties, Pearl Izumi surmised that more expensive gas meant more people were riding bikes and, therefore, more cycling apparel was being purchased. But once 2009 and its unprecedentedly low gas prices came, those sales saw a dip. Now it was time to get introspective and figure out what could be improved internally regardless of external factors.

The Major Pain Points

1) Due to the once inherit incoming merchandise orders, the inside sales team had essentially become complacent with being order takers – most transactions were reactive versus proactive.

2) A byproduct of number one, most interactions were purely transactional in nature – no real relationships were being formed with clients (retail stores and dealers).

3) Also related, it appeared that no one on the inside sales team was being perceived as a category advisor.

In the retail sales world – especially with a specific niche like high-end running, cycling and triathlon apparel – sales reps at retail often don’t have the background to know the best way to sell every item in their stores. Thus, when certain products stop selling, many times it’s due to a lack of product knowledge and specific selling strategies. This is a key opportunity for consumer goods companies, like Pearl, to step in and offer their support and insight – and exactly where inside reps were falling short.

Entering Trusted Advisor Territory

Through the onsite delivery of its Critical TeleSelling™ Skills workshop, Janek stressed how critical it is to constantly be creating an awareness of client needs. Each phone conversation – with both new and existing clients – had to lead with a need-based value proposition. Not only the tweaks in lingo, but the shift in fundamental thinking would be necessary to advance these client relationships past the formalities and into trusted advisor territory.

Results & The Ongoing Solution

Aside from the jump in sales, Pearl Izumi’s decision to enlist ongoing coaching services with Janek more than four years ago has proved successful. Why? The inside sales manager realized that, like with any skill, reinforcement would be the key to creating a habit, as well as serving to hold reps accountable for using the new skills they had learned.

An inside sales rep commented, “It was good to hear what I sounded like on the phone, what my calls were missing, the review calls with Janek kept me on track – I believe they brought about better results and definitely made my calls more structured and effective.”

Pearl’s outside sales reps also reported positive feedback due to the way business was being conducted with the inside sales team. It was easy to see that more in-depth conversations were taking place and clients were better able to sell the products at retail.

Next Steps


Contact Janek to see how we can help your organization achieve its sales performance goals.