As part of Attentive.ai’s Fuel Up Webinar series, Lara Moon, Divisional VP of Sales for BrightView Landscapes, recently joined our panel, offering invaluable insights into the landscape of sales and growth in the landscaping industry. With her expansive 21-year tenure with the company, Lara brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, particularly from the sales environment.
In this piece, you can expect to delve into the nuances of challenges to growth, the intricate concept of the “win team”, initiating women into the industry, leveraging technology to drive better results, and the prevailing labor shortages in the industry, all explored through snippets of her insights.
Table of Contents
Navigating Challenges to Growth
Lara delved into the current challenges to growth, particularly focusing on the impact of the ongoing recession, which she believes is inducing aggressive and transactional behaviors in purchasing. She discussed witnessing reactionary buying decisions and emphasized understanding customer needs and customizing solutions.
“It’s very aggressive…it’s becoming more transactional…we’re really having to lean in and say, what are your needs? Can we customize a solution?”
She talks about diving into customer needs and getting creative with the scope to offer the output customers are looking for while considering the more transactional nature of the industry.
Understanding the Win Team
Lara elucidated the concept of the “win team” during the session, emphasizing its evolving nature in sales and solution development. She noted that traditionally, the sales process involved a more straightforward interaction between the salesperson or account manager and the customer. However, in the current scenario, the “win team” is becoming increasingly complex, involving cross-collaboration and diverse areas of expertise in devising custom solutions that are nimble and resonate more with the client’s needs.
“When I say win team, I’m really talking about a custom solution, elevating those conversations and that connection with the prospective customer.”
Lara mentioned that the composition of the “win team” would vary, pivoting on listening to the customer and bringing in the right expertise, whether it is a branch manager, a snow specialist, or someone with a turf background, to present a relevant and compelling solution.
She accentuated that the nontraditional and custom nature of the “win team” is escalating success in both acquiring new clients and retaining the current ones.
Understanding Labor Shortage in the Green Industry
Labor shortages, particularly operational and field crew, are a prevalent concern in the green industry. Lara delineated that the conversation around labor has now transcended to include management level, sales professional level, and account manager level, marking high levels of competition.
“I am seeing very high levels of competition at a management level, at a sales professional level, at an account manager level, and there are more and more options for folks.”
She pointed out that the industry is witnessing a shift, with individuals exploring different company landscapes due to the availability of opportunities. This has led to aggressive offers for top talents, escalating competition, and challenges in talent retention.
Lara emphasized that this competition is fostering a blend of strong talents with mixed backgrounds to enter the green industry. Nonetheless, it is equally important to strategize effectively to attract and retain this top talent in an environment teeming with opportunities.
Initiating Women into Landscaping
Lara also talked about integrating more women into the landscaping industry, emphasizing the need for visibility as a vital component.
“Visibility… it’s just knowing that it’s an opportunity for a career path is probably the majority of the battle.”
She highlighted the importance of constant learning and education in the industry, acknowledging the abundant presence of educators within, making it special.
Lara firmly believes in everyone’s potential to recruit and emphasizes the importance of recruiting at all levels, not leaving it just to human resources or branch managers.
Fostering Fulfillment and Progression
The conversation took a turn towards sustaining women in the sector and fostering their growth paths. Lara opined, “Fulfillment in the role…what’s fulfilling you in that role and what’s maybe missing in that role…?”
She stressed the significance of finding out what fulfills individuals and then translating that into something executable, referring to it as the “magic sauce”.
According to Lara, focusing on what fills the fulfillment bucket and executing upon it can lead to improving company culture and retention. The emphasis was also on connection and fulfillment beyond just job advancement.
Leveraging Technology In Landscaping
Lara acknowledges how modern tools and platforms are shaping sales effectiveness, leadership, and data analytics. She says, “Technology is the future wave,” emphasizing its role in speeding up processes.
“Speed to market, speed to customer is king anymore…sometimes speed even beats price, sometimes speed even beats quality.”
She pointed out the necessity to prioritize investments in technology due to limited budgets and resources, suggesting companies focus on areas that are their strengths and weaknesses.
Wrapping up, Lara Moon’s insights during Attentive.ai’s webinar offered practical insights into the challenges and solutions within the landscaping sector. Her extensive knowledge brought some really useful tips and info to the table.
Attentive.ai is becoming the top spot for learning the latest in the landscaping industry. Our webinars are packed with useful conversations and discussions that are essential for anyone looking to stay updated in the field.
For more great content and to keep up with the latest trends and conversations in the industry, remember to join our upcoming webinars. Attentive.ai is where the action’s at in the landscaping world!