Episode 91

Building a Future-Ready Sales Team

In this episode of the Leadership In Manufacturing Podcast, our host Sannah Vinding sits down with Mark Wachtel, president at SJ Associates, to discuss the evolving landscape of leadership and business efficiency in the post-pandemic era.

Mark shares how his company adapted to remote work and successfully hired and trained new employees during COVID-19. The conversation delves into the importance of well-prepared and effective meetings, strategies for digitalization and demand creation, and the impact of technology on daily operations.

Mark highlights his approach to cultivating new leaders, the importance of multi-generational knowledge transfer, and how his diverse network outside the industry provides valuable insights.

Join us for an insightful discussion on navigating the challenges of the modern manufacturing world and the leadership skills necessary to thrive in it.


Sannah Vinding


Mark Wachtel



Key takeaways

The Power of Efficient Meetings:

Preparing well and handling topics before meetings can save time and resources while boosting productivity. This approach makes meetings shorter and more effective, letting teams focus on important discussions and avoid long tactical sessions.

Number 2

Embracing Multi-Generational Knowledge Transfer:

Leading a representative business means always learning and sharing knowledge between different generations. Passing on experience from seasoned leaders to new hires helps everyone keep improving. This builds trust and confidence in new team members and keeps talent and expertise growing in the organization.

Number 3 - key takeaway mind the innovation leadership podcast

Leveraging Technology and Data for Business Efficiency:

Using automated systems and processes is essential. By automating reports and tasks, the team can spend more time selling and less on admin work. This keeps the sales team motivated and improves business efficiency. Using data and technology also helps predict needs, improve communication, and make better decisions.

Automating systems and processes is essential. It allows the team to focus more on selling and less on admin work, keeping them motivated and boosting business efficiency. Data and technology help predict needs, improve communication, and make better decisions.”

Mark Wachtel

President , SJ Associates

Effective communication is key, and mastering the art of resolving meeting topics before they even start is a huge time and resource saver!

Sannah Vinding

Leadership & B2B Marketing Strategist, Technical Engineering Expert

Leveraging Technology and Data in Modern Manufacturing Leadership

Show Notes:

In this episode of the Leadership In Manufacturing Podcast, host Sannah Vinding speaks with Mark Wachtel, president of SJ Associates. Mark provides a deep dive into the evolving challenges and opportunities in the manufacturing sector, especially in the wake of COVID-19. He shares the journey of hiring new employees during the pandemic who experienced remote work straight from the start and didn’t step into a traditional office setting for over two years.

Mark and Sannah talk about the growing excitement surrounding the return to in-person events and the significance of fostering a dynamic work environment post-COVID. They also explore Mark’s strategy for running efficient business meetings and the importance of preparation and resolving issues proactively.

Listeners will discover valuable insights into leadership skills necessary for managing a representative business, the critical role of data in driving efficiency, and the importance of multi-generational knowledge transfer. Mark emphasizes the need for continuous learning and understanding of the latest technologies to stay competitive in the market.

Moreover, the episode highlights the necessity of coaching manufacturers on digitalization, demand creation strategies, and effective marketing efforts. Mark also underscores the value of looking beyond one’s industry to gain diverse perspectives and how a multi-disciplinary approach can add tremendous value to business strategies.

Tune in to gain practical knowledge on leadership, the impact of COVID-19 on the manufacturing sector, and the future of workplace dynamics.

Remember to subscribe, like, and share our content. Connect with us on LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram to unlock your leadership potential in the manufacturing industry.

Mark Wachtel

Mark Wachtel

Mark Wachtel

President, SJ Assoicates

Mark Wachtel is an experienced business leader with a robust background in the semiconductor industry. As the President of SJ Associates, Mark has demonstrated a strong history of working in product management, electronics, manufacturing, and business development. He is known for his strategic thinking and effective management skills, particularly in the realms of hiring, training, and retaining talent in the ever-evolving semiconductor industry.

With a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University at Buffalo, Mark possesses a deep technical expertise that complements his business acumen. He has successfully led various initiatives to drive growth and innovation within his organization, leveraging his extensive knowledge and experience to stay ahead in the competitive market.

“Looking outside your own industry for insights is crucial. I often seek advice from my friends in various fields like Wall Street, law, and real estate. These different perspectives have provided invaluable solutions to the challenges we face in the rep business.”

Mark Wachtel

President, SJ Associates

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