Barbara Couchois, the recently hired VP-sales operations for EE Times Group, touts a new kind of customer service.
She rejoined the company in January with a mandate to streamline the delivery of complex sales programs and also to develop the kind of reporting that helps marketers in the electronics industry decide where to put their money.
“I make sure that once the sales job is completed, we deliver on that internally, and that based on the metrics that have been set, we are in sync through our whole delivery process and proactively providing the reporting specific to the performance of those programs,” said Couchois, who left EE Times seven years ago and worked most recently as a sales executive with virtual solutions provider ON24.
“Barbara's position is a new position that we saw as a critical business need to take the organization to the next level,” said Felicia Hamerman, EE Times' group director of marketing. “[We're] stepping back, looking at what we need to do as a business and then mapping it appropriately.”
Couchois will be assessing the existing sales structure and making changes that include the integration of the processing systems that take a customer from the initial order to the final bill. The move is designed to cut out redundancies that can frustrate time-strapped marketers.
A new emphasis on reporting will help EE Times establish best practices and provide necessary support to marketing departments that often have been spread thin, Couchois said.
“People working with less want more service,” she said. “We need to be able to articulate and summarize so we can make decisions about optimizing, and growing and really consulting on the results and performance in a timely way. We have a lot of that happening with the larger accounts because that's where we have staff and support. Small accounts are growing rapidly and are interested in the same type of metrics.”
The thirst for more service bodes well for EE Times' custom solutions, demand for which Couchois expects to grow. The company works with its customers to develop everything from microsites to events and white papers.
Couchois also expects to see growth in virtual events. “[Our customers] are still getting comfortable with the concept of virtual solutions and how to leverage the interactivity and engagement and harness the metrics that are available to conclude great leads and success stories,” she said. “That's a growing part of our business. We are focusing resources on a portfolio of virtual solutions that we can successfully deliver.” It is a pitch that Couchois, with her experience at ON24, should be able to help the publisher refine.
Couchois said EE Times' continued investment in growth convinced her to return.
“When an organization can innovate, when they can lead through tumultuous times and strengthen the organization, it speaks volumes,” she said. “That is a magnet for me. It's an environment that allows one to make a contribution.”