Leading suicide prevention trainer hires sales pro, kicks off new go-to-market strategy
As the world’s leading suicide intervention skills trainer, LivingWorks Education believes we can all play a role in suicide prevention. The Calgary-based company’s award-winning training programs and services enable professionals and the general public to identify the signs of people in need, and understand the actions they can take, at any level, to build suicide-safer businesses and communities.
Says Executive Vice President Lance Armstrong, “Our mission is saving lives from suicide and our training is focused on understanding how you can engage and the role you can play in intervention and prevention. Once people realize they can actually do something about the situation, things shift and that’s when we see results.”
Yet as Lance explains, as a social enterprise, LivingWorks must also operate profitably. “If we don’t take a business approach with an eye on sales, marketing, and operations, we won’t be able to fulfill our mission.”
LivingWorks partners with Peak Sales Recruiting
As the company’s plans for a major product launch and new go-to-market strategy took shape – the need for an experienced sales leader was center stage.
“Instead of targeting mental health professionals, our new product line will target the masses of mainstream businesses where statistically we know there is a growing need for suicide prevention training and services,” explains Lance. “What if any type of business could identify employees in need and teach their teams how to recognize the signs and how to engage and intervene? We would have healthier, happier workplaces and better communities. We have many of the elements in place, but we know that an experienced, qualified sales leader will change how much we can accomplish and how quickly.”
Lance quickly engaged the team at Peak Sales Recruiting. He explains, “We are a very unique organization with a unique selling environment driven by a social mission – saving lives from suicide drives everything we do – but we need to generate sales. We turned to Peak to find a sales leader that could find the equilibrium between these two factors.”
Peak’s structured process delivers results
The Peak team got to work quickly, working with Lance to finalize criteria for the candidate and map out a fast timeline. Through its 4-step sales recruiting methodology, the Peak team evaluated candidates using behavior-based interviews and role playing, psychometric profiling, and benchmarking. Peak also takes the talent acquisition process one step further by relying on its proprietary P95 assessment to uncover whether candidates can truly perform in a client’s selling environment.
A few weeks later, Randy Thompson was hired as LivingWork’s first Regional Director of Business Development.
“Honestly, I don’t think we could have found this type of candidate for our unique environment without Peak’s methodology and services,” says Lance. “Randy brings such a unique combination of skills. He’s a pure sales guy and knows sales, but he also has a personal story around the issue of suicide, and brings a counseling background. A strong background in mental health is an asset when it comes to understanding the suicide prevention market.”
For Lance, Randy is now the force behind designing and building a sales effort that will bring their work into alignment and provide experienced support for the company’s product and market transformation.
Business transformation moves from vision to reality
Redefining its approach to the market with new products and new customer targets, LivingWorks is positioned to transform suicide prevention training, and at the same time, chart a course for dramatic growth.
“We have been heads down on our business development strategy but needed a sales leader to take it to market with the right strategy and support. This gives us a clear market advantage and a big step beyond where we were before.”
In addition to targeting new markets, the company is moving from creating products for external people to deliver, to a hosted design and delivery approach. LivingWorks will also integrate services into an engaging, connected online platform for face-to-face training, accessing resources, or tracking care. Lance and his team will be able to track interventions as they happen, and can better support their customers with innovative resources for suicide prevention. Their newest integrated program, LivingWorks Start, teaches life-saving skills to anyone in as little as one hour online.
With Randy’s hire, LivingWorks can now drive growth plans that will include hiring a team of specialized, regional business development roles. According to Lance, he will partner with Peak again to help build Randy’s team.
“Working with Peak was critical to turning our vision into a reality,” he says. “We thank the team at Peak for understanding our mission, where we want to take our business, and delivering the ideal outcome for our company.”