Topgrading Your Business Model: Building a Team That Sells “Beyond the Envelope”

Executive Summary

When Tension Corporation wanted to expand their offerings “Beyond the Envelope” they looked to WorldBridge Partners Chicago NW for top-grade talent to add to their team. WorldBridge connected them with candidates that continue to carry their vision of an upgraded business model into the future.

The Client
Tension Corporation (formerly Tension Envelope) is a leader in the production of envelopes, packaging and automation solutions, selling directly to businesses and organizations nationwide. Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, with sales and manufacturing facilities across the country and around the globe, Tension is a privately held, 4th generation family-owned and operated business that has been a market leader since it was founded in 1886. While the industry has undergone significant change, Tension has remained healthy, strong and profitable, in part due to its strong track record of employee engagement and longevity.

The Challenges
About 10 years ago, Tension recognized that in order to better meet the needs of its customers, it needed a more sophisticated sales approach and to extend its offerings “Beyond the Envelope.” Leadership’s vision was to expand its already talented sales team by adding new hires who were consultative and professional, allowing Tension to increase the breadth and depth of sales to their clients. Candidates needed to be creative, as well as to be able to sell the value of maximizing not only the efficiency of the envelope for automation, but also the potential for direct marketing and client branding. Tension needed top-grade talent, and would ideally consider candidates from within the printing industry.

The Solution

Tension hired WorldBridge Partners, an executive search firm that focuses in the printing & marketing communications, and paper & packaging industry. After several conversations about Tension’s history, culture, leadership and the ideal candidate, WorldBridge Partners went to work to surface and evaluate candidates who could move the company model from manufacturing and selling just envelopes, to learning more about their client’s marketing initiatives and finding ways to make the envelope part of their overall marketing campaigns. WorldBridge Partners placed four Account Executives and a Regional Sales Manager to help fulfill this goal.

The Results

Over the last 10 years, 83.5% of the new hires WorldBridge placed, remain happily employed, productive and doing well. Since bringing in new talent, Tension’s “Beyond the Envelope” revenue has grown exponentially. Additionally, Tension’s strategic partnerships with outside printing partners has expanded significantly, allowing Tension to become a blended supplier of custom built envelopes, marketing documents and other “Beyond the Envelope” solutions. Today, Tension is successfully positioned as a full service provider.

“WorldBridge presented us with top talent whose skills and expertise aligned with Tension’s strategic goals. These hires have had a direct impact on the success of our initiatives.” says Toby Reed, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “These hires have had a direct impact on the success of our initiatives.”

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