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Sales Training Success: CustomerCentric Selling® helps first client, SymQuest, transform the sales organization into a formula for consistent revenue success for nearly a decade.

Key Players
Co-founders, President & CEO

SymQuest Group was founded in February 1996 as a $9MM technology services company. SymQuest Group was born from a legacy office equipment dealership that sold office copiers and computers to businesses in Vermont. SymQuest Group’s co-founders are Patrick Robins (Chairman) and Larry Sudbay (President & CEO). In 14 years, SymQuest Group has experienced consistent growth and currently employs 155 professionals with annual revenues of $32MM. With support and guidance from SymQuest Group Board of Directors the company has 3,500 customers from the Adirondacks of New York to the Seacoast of Maine including most of Vermont and New Hampshire. SymQuest Group’s growth has been organic and thru two strategic acquisitions. The company is passionate about creating “Raving Fans” and sees their client relationships as their most important asset.

Current Situation
Toward the end of 2001, the printer/copier/fax business had degraded to a point where price had became the prevalent reason for winning or losing business. Salespeople were faced with having to “buy the business” by selling equipment at razor thin margins (or in some instances at a loss). Vendors then had to try to make the transaction profitable through other sources of revenue such as maintenance, consumables, service, etc. Most salespeople called at user/technical levels and their focus was on selling features, but differentiating offering from competitors was extremely difficult. Price was king and buying decisions were being made without regard for overall printing costs. Departmental decisions were being made without regard to overall requirements. Leasing was more profitable than purchase, but many salespeople were not proficient at articulating the benefits of leasing.

After attending product training, salespeople were given territories, quotas and had to start selling. It was difficult for them to net out what they learned about their offerings in a way that related to buyers. SymQuest was and continues to be a New England based business headquartered in South Burlington, Vermont covering a radius of about 250 miles. Relating the value of personalized service and support was another challenge for the salespeople.

Capabilities Needed
SymQuest made a strategic decision by forming a team that provided network consulting services. Senior management recognized the trend that standalone printing devices were giving way to networked devices, allowing companies to determine overall requirements and provide functionality where and as needed. In order to sell this approach, it was incumbent upon salespeople to call at higher levels, uncover a buyer’s business objectives and discuss workflow rather than hardware as a way to achieve the desired business outcomes.

Larry Sudbay, the CEO of SymQuest, expressed a desire to transform his sales organization from “box” to work flow sales. Many of his staff had been with SymQuest for a number of years and for them to continue to achieve their numbers, a different approach was necessary. If successful, Larry also realized the overall margins would improve as sales migrated away from being price wars. That would be a critical part of maintaining service levels that customers had come to expect.

In February 2002, Larry and 5 other members of his staff attended the first CustomerCentric Selling® Public Workshop held in Burlington, Massachusetts to evaluate the process and determine if it would work in SymQuest’s environment. The consensus was that it could after being customized to fit their market and in June, 2002 a custom internal Workshop was held for 25 people. Their CRM software was modified to support CCS™ milestones. Consulting services in regrading pipeline were provided. After 6 months a Workshop for the management team was taught that provided further detail on assessing/developing salespeople and managing pipeline. CustomerCentric Selling® provided SymQuest with the capabilities they needed to achieve their goals.

Since 2002, SymQuest has worked with CustomerCentric Selling® Co-founder & Co-author, John Holland and every year they have scheduled training for new hires and/or refreshers for their sales staff. While the expectation was that average sellers would benefit most, SymQuest’s top performer has been able to increase his performance by 50%. In looking back he feels he often confused activity with progress. He attributes his improvement to adopting the CCS™ approach of documenting sales calls with letters and emails that allow him and his manager to do a better job of qualifying/disqualifying opportunities early on.

“CustomerCentric Selling® (CCS™) has dramatically transformed the entire SymQuest sales environment, moving us from a boxed approach to a workflow approach that has proven very successful for our organization. The CCS™ methodology has consistently helped drive sales success for SymQuest since we first implemented it almost a decade ago. The proof is in the numbers.”

–Larry Sudbay,
President & CEO of SymQuest

Customer Closeup
Founded in 1996, SymQuest’s 156 experienced professionals are committed to delivering legendary service quality in information and document management. They design, install, and support business technologies that handle the information flow of electronic and physical communications. Their expertise lies in the realm of computers and applications to help their clients gain phenomenal increases in document and work flow efficiencies. For more information, please visit:

If you have questions about this client, please contact John Holland at

Over the last 8 years, Larry Sudbay and his management team have transformed their sales approach and the results have been impressive:

  • EBITDA has increased 71% since 2002
  • Service rates are discounted on 15% of transactions versus 50% in 2002
  • 20% decrease in sales force turnover
  • 32% increase in average annual sales revenue per sales representative
  • 12% increase in overall gross margin on equipment sales

About CustomerCentric Selling®
CustomerCentric Selling® (CCS®) is a proven methodology for predictably improving revenue growth and sales performance. Founded in 2002, CCS® helps clients worldwide to implement repeatable, auditable and scalable sales processes that, when combined with Sales Ready Messaging®, guides marketing and sales to have meaningful conversations with customers and prospects. This results in winning high-value deals, retaining and growing client relationships and improving the predictability and accuracy of sales forecasts. CustomerCentric Selling® is regularly named to the Top Sales Training Companies list. Clients such as Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Business Objects, Rockwell Automation, EMC and Raytheon have deployed CCS® worldwide. For more information, visit, or call Jill Perez at +1.800.993.1228, ext 706.