Anossis Oliveira and I met at this year’s AA-ISP Leadership Summit, specifically at the Birds of a Feather Roundtable where the topic was Best Practices of Inside Sales Leaders. Anossis is the Global Inside Sales Director for Achilles, a company that essentially provides “supplier management programmes and works with around 800 of the world’s largest buying organizations (43 of the Global Fortune 100) and over 100,000 of their suppliers. They have offices in 23 countries and 1000+ employees and is backed by HgCapital.”
As Anossis and I spoke in April and again just last week, I asked him, just what the heck all of that means. He was kind enough and patient enough, to explain it to me….twice.
The world operates at the speed of now and business is global – it crosses borders, cultures, languages, and continents, all to bring resources to the seven billion people on the planet. That requires a solid supply chain in order to honor the commitments companies have made in bringing resources to us. For example, gas, water, electricity, food….you get the idea.
That’s where Achilles Group comes into play. As a company looks at their supply chain, they would engage with Achilles to help manage and mitigate risk, streamline procurement strategy and reduce cost and effort. Achilles breaks their offering down into three key areas:
1. Supplier registration & pre-qualification – the Company information, Financial Information, Healthy & Safety, Environment, country’s demographics & legislation, and many more factors are taken into consideration as to whether or not this supplier can meet the company’s capability requirements and ensure compliance with legislative and corporate standards.
2. Supplier Validation – after the initial pre-qualification, the potential supplier is then validated through the Achilles customer supporting teams, qualified assessors and via specialist third-party data feeds depending on their risk classification.
3. Supply Chain Mapping – allowing companies to map their extended supply chains and view supplier information beyond first tier suppliers. For example, given companies early warning about supply chain convergence, highlighting potential single points of failure and Insight into the possible impact of global events (eg natural disasters) on their supply chain.
It goes without saying, however, I’m going to say it: by leveraging these services, companies are able to minimize their risks, protect share price (as much as possible) and continue to bring their products to market.
As my brain was trying to wrap itself around the enormity of the world we live in, I asked Anossis what all of this means for his Global Inside Sales team.
Dionne: Anossis, tell me about your team, their role, and when it was created.
Anossis: I started with Achilles about two and a half years ago and was tasked with bringing productivity to the organization. I accepted that challenge and did three things: implemented a CRM system that functions as our single source of truth, implemented a unified set of sales processes, created a global Inside Sales team, and while the languages and cultures are different, really focused my teams on all having the same customer at heart mindset.
Dionne: Can you provide the breakdown of your team?
Anossis: Yes, as our customer base is global, I have Inside Sales hubs around the world in nine locations: Abingdon UK, Madrid, Bratislava, Stockholm, Santiago, Rio de Janeiro, Houston, Hong Kong and Brisbane. I have a team of 130+ people across 3 divisions covering 28 languages and responsible for circa £50Million annual revenue.
Dionne: Impressive. Can you provide more detail on the role of your team?
Anossis: My teams focus on three core areas; new business, renewals and win-backs. At Achilles Group, we focus on building a community of suppliers to our customers. To that point, our service is provided via an ongoing subscription so suppliers can maintain or improve their status as a qualified supplier.
Dionne: What are the metrics for your team in maintaining your customer and supplier base?
Anossis: My team is responsible for onboarding our customers seamlessly and easily and get folks moving through the process. We make a lot of phone calls, around 5000 calls a day focusing on having good conversations around value realisations. And of course, we focus on retaining our customers.
Dionne: Very impressive. Your team is roughly two and half years old, how was that transition?
Anossis: It was a transition, as most change is. However, the company was committed to the change and really taking this leap to support our customers, and continuing to build a robust community.
Dionne: What do you see on the horizon for your team?
Anossis: Achilles exists because the world and business are complex and as long as the world continues to shrink and become more complex, our services will be there for our customers. As for my team, I see them continuing to provide world class support to our customers, all in the effort to sustain our community model.
If you’re interested in learning more, you can reach out to Anossis via LinkedIn or visit the Achilles Group website at www.achilles.com. One last note, Anossis is the AA-ISP’s UK Chapter President too, so if you’re in the area, join one of us Chapter meetings.