Just a Minute with Tim Hagen

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:32 pm

President, Sales Progress LLC Company address: 1001 W. Glen Oaks Lane, Suite 244, Mequon Company Web site: www.SalesProgress.com
Industry: Sales training and coaching
Number of employees: 6
Education: Bachelor of arts degree in adult education, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Family: Wife, Beth who is a pediatrician in the north shore area; daughter, Bridget; and son, Liam.
What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
"We developed software to automate our work with clients, specifically in the areas of measurement and coaching. In addition, we are creating products to help customers run their own sales training programs."
What’s new at your company?
"We have created training kits where customers can perform their own training; this allows us to grow outside of the local marketplace. The products serve small businesses to large corporations who may possibly even have training departments. We continue this development because we feel clients should be able to choose whether to outsource long-term or not. In addition, we are launching a free sales training newsletter to help clients and prospects learn more about alternative forms of sales training and development."
Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
"Yes, we will hire more training and sales staff. This year alone, we added three new employees, and one in the last month. In addition to employees, we are always investing in new methods and technology to continue to build better training products."
What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
"Providing service to our clients while building products to expand our offerings. That balance is always a challenge. As the economy turns around, we want to have the right mix of products and services to help clients while maintaining a strong marketing initiative."
What’s the hottest trend in your industry?
"Easily, the biggest thing in the training industry right now is self-directed learning. Self-directed learning allows employees to manage their own development and learning, which is great for us because one of our flagship products, Sales Progress Management, helps automate this for virtually any type of client. Companies often stop training due to cost, but the industry movement toward self-directed learning allows customers to actually increase training, while decreasing cost."
Do you have a business mantra?
"Never stop, keep pushing. Satisfaction is a scary thing."
From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
"Jack Welch (former CEO of General Electric), he was blunt and honest. You never had to guess where you stood with him. I do the same with employees and clients."
What was the best advice you ever received?
"The sign of a good friend and someone who cares about you, are the ones who tell you what you do not want to hear, but will help you. I believe, as a vendor if you ever lose a client, you should do so with absolute honesty, not trying to appease the client with the information they may want to hear. This enables clients to know you only have their best interests at heart."
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
"I played volleyball and wore a hat backward. The brim of the hat said NIKE. The next day, I had a board presentation with the word NIKE burned into my forehead. I used it to make people laugh and ultimately got the deal."
What do you like to do in your free time?
"I enjoy spending time with family, golfing, and running marathons."
January 7, 2005, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

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