2020 Top Distributors: Shumsky CEO Dawn Conway on Employee Engagement, Consultative Sales
Each year, Promo Marketing compiles the top promotional products distributors into one comprehensive list. We asked some of the 2020 top distributors for their thoughts on the industry, their plans for the future and more. Here, we talked to Dawn Conway of Shumsky/Boost Engagement, the No. 45 company on our 2020 Top Distributors list.
Shumsky/Boost Engagement focused on technology and process improvements in 2019, creating a Shared Services team to support sales reps on administrative and other tasks. That resulted in more selling time for the company’s sales team, freeing up reps to focus more on customers. Shumsky also transitioned away from product selling, adopting a consultative approach that incorporates more of the company’s other solutions for customers. These moves are already paying off, with Shumsky cruising to $25.8 million in 2019 sales and ranking No. 45 this year—an impressive finish for one of the list’s smallest distributors by number of employees.
“Our dedication to being customer-centric and listening to the needs of our customers, creating an agile environment that allows us to pivot quickly based on the need, strong trusted relationships with our supplier partners, and a strong culture of innovating in real-time [were key factors in our success],” said Dawn Conway, Shumsky’s CEO.
Outlook: One of Conway’s top goals for the immediate future—and one she sees as a major priority for the industry overall—is keeping employees engaged. Shumsky’s Boost Engagement business already specializes in this for other companies, and Conway is exploring ways to bring that expertise to the promo industry at large. As for what the industry will look like moving forward, her outlook is largely positive.
“We are in the process of analyzing what the organization will look like post-COVID-19,” said Conway. “Although we believe PPE products will be in demand for the foreseeable future, now is the time to start laying the groundwork for when the economy starts to recover and people go back to work. What will our work environment look like? What will our customers require in the future that we can create solutions for right now? What do we need to do as an organization to shift to be relevant to the market? We have created a task force to begin to look at appropriate and relevant business/market solutions that will complement our offerings today.”