Harvard Business School Steps Up International Sales Prospecting

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Generating sales leads and acquiring new clients and students is the aim of the Harvard Business School's Executive Education Program.

the Lion Financial Services case study has been widely used in both business and engineering curricula as a means of exposing students to best-practice ideas about call center management.

One normally wouldn't think of a university with the stature of Harvard Business School as having a dedicated sales call center. However, generating sales leads and acquiring new clients and students is the aim of the Harvard Business School's Executive Education Program.

In the summer of 2008, Harvard Business School wished to expand sales of its high-end, executive education programs targeting senior executives of large, multi-national companies. To assist with this effort, Harvard Business School called in call center consultants Customer Solutions Group (CSG) to examine its approach for bringing in students from parts of the world the business school was not previously reaching as well as desired.

Charlie Breckling, managing director of marketing for Harvard Business School's Executive Education Program, said, "Our existing sales outreach programs are very effective where they operate however we wanted to adapt our inside sales center to reach other parts of the world the outside sales group does not cover. We wanted a more direct, proactive means of generating additional students in parts of the world in which we had little contact. We were intrigued by what CSG had done with corporations to redefine and simplify the entire inside sales process."

Jeff Feuer, CSG president, noted, "Harvard Business School's Executive Education program called for development of a stronger outreach capability for certain parts of the world. Although we had never applied our inside sales approach to an academic environment, we found the same principles were at work, as are in commercial call centers."

Feuer said CSG first looked at existing training tools, equipment, software, sales scripts, physical layout, human resource strategy, reporting, economics, and marketing conducted by Harvard Business School. "We suggested concrete steps to enhance areas needed to support their modified sales strategy to include a broader geographic distribution of executive education students," recalled Feuer. "We took everything down to its base elements and, for the first time, employed our exclusive STEP™ Process to an academic environment. We developed an effective inside sales strategy, determined necessary technology to support the inside sales efforts, and made certain the call center techniques met Harvard Business School's expectations."

The result? A number of new leads were quickly generated and one major client has been already been signed.

Although CSG had never used its STEP Process with a university, it was the subject of a major case study conducted by the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 2003. The Lion Financial Services case study focused on call center design, using the CSG model. The study is now used by top management consultant companies and major corporations with call centers such as General Motors and Toyota. The primary use is as part of the MBA curriculum in nearly two dozen universities, including Stanford, Harvard Business School, MIT, NYU, Carnegie Mellon, Brigham Young, Vanderbilt, Washington, Arizona State, and Melbourne.

Professor Michael Harrison wrote the Lion Financial Services study (Case: OIT-29), with assistance from Andy Carr, CSG co-founder. Carr and Feuer visited Stanford and participated in the case study discussions with MBA students periodically over a two-year period. The case is now distributed by Harvard Business School Publishing. Professor Harrison notes that "the Lion Financial Services case study has been widely used in both business and engineering curricula as a means of exposing students to best-practice ideas about call center management."

For further information, contact CSG at 877-275-5221 or visit online at http://www.insidesaleslab.com.

About CSG
CSG founder Andrew D. Carr and CSG President Jeffrey E. Feuer earned their MBAs from Harvard Business School in 1987. Their courses of study focused on sales strategy development, implementation, and measurement. Following their graduation, both men gained invaluable experience in managing a number of inside sales operations ranging in size from 50 to 800 people.

In 1993, Carr and Feuer joined forces and Customer Solutions Group was launched. Since its founding, CSG has grown, guided by a singular business concept - namely, helping clients build effective customer acquisition strategies. CSG is a hands-on consulting organization dedicated to producing inside sales solutions, measurable results, and more customers.

Today, CSG's offerings include all the tools necessary to create, develop, and validate the best possible customer acquisition strategies. One of the most significant advances made by CSG is the creation of its own InsideSalesLab in Denver, CO. This unique environment takes theory out of inside sales and puts all phases of efficient customer acquisition into practice for CSG clients.

At the InsideSalesLab, everything is customized, tested, and refined using CSG's exclusive, four-part STEP™ Process that fully explores inside sales Strategy, Technology, Evaluation, and Production.

Whether it's product development, scripting, sales training, report generation, lead management software, list segmentation, price testing or developing an entire call center start up operation, CSG makes everything essentially "turn key."

Past CSG clients include SBC, Verizon, The Automobile Club of Southern California, The City of Los Angeles, Sun America, Avaya, Oppenheimer Mutual Funds, The J. Paul Getty Museum and Trust, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, DirecTV and many other companies large and small, established and new.

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