How LMC Landscape Partners Coaches Sales Teams for Greater Success

Read Time4 minutes

AuthorAbby Hart

PublishedDecember 15, 2023

How LMC Landscape Partners Coaches Sales Teams for Greater Success

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Jeff Kettler came to the green industry through business school, not plants—but he’s here to stay.

“I love it. It's a great industry; I've enjoyed all the different people I've met and the experiences I've had and learned a lot along the way,” he says. 

Kettler, vice president of sales for LMC Landscape Partners, is a 23-year landscaping veteran. His business degree led him to work with a national lawn care company in 1999, and various leadership and sales management positions followed, with him piloting new service lines, markets, and programs.

He joined LMC Landscape Services in 2018, leading the arbor sales team and realizing another career goal: earning his Arborist certification from the International Society of Arboriculture. 

However, he counts a different kind of growth among his most significant achievements. 

“The thing that I'm most proud of is seeing individuals within the company and on my team advance in their careers,” Kettler says. 

Good management, leadership, and data create an exceptional team environment and improve career growth, and Kettler cites Aspire as a vital tool as he coaches his team. By studying the wealth of data available in the system, he can identify improvement areas and coaching and learning opportunities.

“Every aspect that drives our business is done within Aspire”

With the creation of LMC Landscape Partners in 2021, Kettler stepped up to vice president of sales for the entire platform, building frameworks around new service lines and markets.

“I'm collaborating with strong leaders who’ve been in business for a long time, growing and taking LMC to the next level. That's the fun part of it.”

In Aspire, Kettler and the rest of the LMC leadership team can review proposals, pipeline, and close ratios. This precise data and visibility has led to several key benefits:

“Every facet of our operations, from scheduling and estimating jobs to tracking work orders––every aspect that drives our business is done within Aspire,” he says. “Aspire is built from the ground up for our business, making it very easy to implement, utilize, and obtain data to manage our business.”

Measuring success with data, not feelings

“We lacked a collective area to capture our pipeline, prospects, and proposals,” Kettler says. 

“Aspire gave us the ability to dive in to see where our business is coming from.”

In his opinion, the Property Wizard application in Aspire is the most valuable feature because it provides a clear and complete history of every account. It’s advantageous at the branch level to analyze accounts and upsells. He appreciates the systematic approach to maintaining jobs in Aspire, and the team has confidence in the accuracy and professionalism of the proposals they generate in the system. 

“It retains all the history in one central place you can see in one click. And the ability to have accurate information compared to many of our other competitors gives us a leg up,” he says. 

In sales and operational meetings, there’s no arguing about the data, or the resounding chorus of ‘that account's not performing that well’ without data to support the claim.

“With Aspire, you get to facts quickly and can drill down and remove your personal instincts. Let’s evaluate the client and how it's impacting the business and make good decisions based on facts. You don't have that data when you don't have software like Aspire.”

“What surprised me most was how easy Aspire is to use”

Kettler acknowledges that as LMC Landscape Partners onboards new companies, it presents the challenge of moving whole teams off spreadsheets into a modern software system.

“What surprises me most is how easy Aspire is to use,” he says, “especially as we onboard new employees. It's easy to explain, makes sense, and flows into what we're trying to accomplish.”

“The biggest hurdle is getting people comfortable with it, but they see the value,” he says. “Within six months to a year, I hear, ‘Wow, I'm much less stressed. My business is very manageable now. I'm making intelligent decisions about my business and my personnel. That's impacting my business and making my life and my work easier.’”

Kettler uses a sales scorecard and custom reports built by LMC’s IT director, Mike Lowrance, to help him have more effective meetings with his 14 sales reps. 

“As we grow the business, and we go from 14 reps to 25 to 30 to 40 reps, we will look at different information, and we want it to be streamlined and easy to gather to make very quick, sound business decisions,” he explains.

He has 30-60 minute one-on-ones twice a month with each salesperson, diving into pipelines, proposals, funnels, and the status of delivered opportunities. 

“It’s a good teaching and coaching moment for me, which helps them advance, get better, improve close ratios, and work smarter, which will benefit them both financially and give them more opportunities to advance within the company,” he says. 

A competitive advantage

“Aspire most definitely gives us an advantage,” says Kettler. “The biggest advantage is the accuracy of information and proposals we can submit.”

As a coach and an innately competitive salesperson, it makes sense that Kettler would want to keep his secret weapon under wraps. 

“From a competitive standpoint, I would love for (other companies) not to use Aspire,” Kettler laughs. 

“But as a good steward within the industry, if (landscapers) want to manage and grow their business and reward their customers and employees, I would recommend Aspire, no doubt about it.”

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