Bill Carlson, Director of Retail National Accounts
Company: Lennox Industries, Inc., Richardson, TX
Company Description: The residential business unit of Lennox Industries, the largest business unit within Lennox International Inc. (NYSE: LII), is responsible for $1.5B of the $3.1B in sales within the LII portfolio. Led by record growth and performance by Lennox Industries, our stock price has increased another 10% from $86 to $94 per share since July 2013.
Nomination Category: Business Development Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Business Development Professional of the Year
Nomination Title: Bill Carlson, Director of Retail National Accounts
Tell the story about what this nominee achieved since the beginning of July 2014 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:
Bill Carlson leads the retail team within the Sales Department as the Director of Retail National Accounts reporting to the Vice President of Sales at Lennox Industries. Bill has been with Lennox for over 28 years. He has successfully led our efforts with residential retail partners and has achieved consistent growth in this segment for the past 7 years.
Prior to leading our retail initiative, Bill held leadership positions in business development, marketing and merchandising, parts and supplies and field sales. Bill led the development and implementation of many successful programs at Lennox including the Dave Lennox Premier Dealer program, which today is Lennox’s longest-running dealer program.
2015 Success and Beyond
Bill and his team work closely with the Sales team to build the success that has been seen over the past year and a half. 2015 was another banner year for Business Development especially in the retail industry, firmly establishing our position as the HVAC industry’s leader in this growing segment of the business. Following are some of the key highlights from Business Development over the past year:
• Grew our flagship program with Costco by 19%, adding $17M in new Lennox sales.
• Presented our business proposal to Home Depot’s management team as participants in their supplier line review process. Our efforts were successful, resulting in Lennox remaining as one of three approved brands while taking market share from our biggest competitors.
• Converted 28 Home Depot stores from our competitor’s dealers to Lennox and grew the total business by over 45%, adding nearly $10M in new Lennox sales.
• Successfully executed on the launch of our new relationship with Lowe’s, displacing our competitor from 944 stores. The launch required on-boarding and training more than 300 dealers, 54 of whom are new to Lennox.
• Produced $18M in new Lennox sales through Lowe’s, exceeding results produced by our main competitor in 2014 by 17%.
• The Lennox brand is prominently displayed and advertised in over 2,000 busy retail outlets daily achieving over 150 million impressions annually.
• Dealers participating in our retail programs realized total net growth of over $61M for the 12 months ended November, 2015.
Altogether, Lennox generated more than $520M in retail sales through our three “Big Box” partners, up 40% over 2014. In Lennox sales, Bill’s team delivered over $155M to the top line, with $45M of that total representing new business.
Bill has been instrumental in the development of key merchandising programs that continue to create momentum for Lennox in the retail space and generate business for our customers. Bill’s team has the huge responsibility of leveraging the relationship with the retailer while also working closely with our dealers (who are not Lennox employees) to partner with us and the retailer to find workable processes for selling to homeowners. This is a huge undertaking that takes place across North America and Canada. He does not have huge team to do this and even was responsible for all the training for the dealers and Lennox Sales teams to help make this new business execute smoothly to allow homeowners a great experience even on the first calls for visits.
This balancing continues as he isn’t just focused on one main retailer but three main retailers that each has different processes, demands, requirements and delighters. Bill shows his ability to do a great job by the realization that over the past year, our retail business has increased in not one but all of our retailers. To maintain this type of customer focus, Bill works closely with the Sales team to ensure that everyone is knowledgeable about each new business and what they need for success. Bill Carlson’s guidance, direction and proven success over the past year and a half is what makes him the best candidate for Business Development Professional of the Year.