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Chief Sales Officer, Virgin Trains USA

Miami

Fortress Affiliate

Ref#: 2322

Date published: 20-Jun-2019

About Virgin Trains USA


Virgin Trains USA (VTUSA) (DBA Brightline) is two unique and complementary businesses: privately owned and operated express intercity passenger rail service that redefines leisure and business travel and the development of mixed use real estate around its stations. The operational service connects Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach and soon, Orlando. The company has also acquired and is developing a high-speed passenger rail system between Southern California and Las Vegas called Virgin Trains West. VTUSA is developing transit-oriented development around its three South Florida stations (approx. 1.5msf) and its planned station in Las Vegas.


Seamlessly connecting passengers to the downtown centers of Florida’s top destinations, VTUSA offers residents and visitors a better, smarter choice while setting new global standards in passenger rail travel. VTUSA is challenging the status quo. The operational segment connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach has already served more than a million guests since it opened revenue service in 2018. VTUSA’s ridership mix includes leisure, commuter and business travelers, and the company continues to see accelerated adoption by business travelers. The company is also partnering with major cruise lines and is implementing aggressive sales and marketing strategies to drive increased ridership.


The trainsets feature extra-wide seats and aisles, robust Wi-Fi, spacious bathrooms and on-board food and beverage offerings. The state-of-the-art stations and related transit-oriented real estate development sites are strategically located in the places people live, work and play – steps away from cultural and entertainment attractions and major business districts.


Owned and operated by Florida East Coast Industries (FECI), the service will connect Miami and Orlando in about three hours. Utilizing an existing freight railway corridor, VTUSA trains will travel 195 miles along Florida’s east coast between Miami and Cocoa, where the system will then head west along the State Road 528 corridor, terminating into a completed state-of-the-art station at the Orlando International Airport’s new Intermodal Terminal Facility. VTUSA opened limited revenue service between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in January 2018 and to Miami in May 2018. Hourly service between the three city pairs started in August 2018. The company has started construction between West Palm Beach and Orlando, with service expected to start in mid-2022.  


According to the 2016 U.S. Census, 36 percent of Florida’s 20 million residents live in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Orange counties, and more than five percent of all Floridians live within five miles of the Brightline stations.  Each year there are more than 390 million trips taken by people traveling between the four major cities that will be served by VTUSA - Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando. The VTUSA corridor is ideally located by the top three largest cruise ports in the world, including PortMiami, Port Everglades and Port Canaveral. 


Trains operate at 79 miles per hour between Miami and West Palm Beach and will reach speeds of 110 miles per hour between West Palm Beach and Cocoa and 125 miles per hour between Cocoa and the Orlando.  Trains will run at approximately one-hour intervals with 16 round trips per weekday. VTUSA expects to operate the trains at an overall average speed similar to the Acela Express service operating on the Northeast Corridor between New York and Washington, D.C. at 80 miles per hour, thus reducing the travel time between Miami and Orlando to approximately three hours.


The project has created thousands of direct, non-recurring jobs from construction of the rail infrastructure and stations, and hundreds of permanent jobs for the rail operations. This is in addition to the additional jobs from the construction of the surrounding transit-oriented developments, the rolling stock manufacturers and indirect jobs that will ultimately be generated by this new economic engine.


Virgin Trains West will connect Victorville, CA, and Las Vegas, NV, and final engineering and permitting are currently under development. Construction is expected to start in 2020 and should take approximately 3.5 years to complete. Virgin Trains West will serve an addressable market of 56 million and will connect the two cities in approximately 90 minutes, resulting in a trip that is less than the cost of driving or flying. The Las Vegas station will be within close proximity to the Las Vegas strip and offer significant transit oriented development opportunities.


For more information, please visit http://www.gobrightline.com/.


About FECI


Florida East Coast Industries, LLC (FECI) is one of Florida’s oldest and largest full-service commercial real estate, transportation, and infrastructure companies. Headquartered in Coral Gables, Fla., FECI has a rich history dating back over a century.  Mr. Henry Flagler first established a predecessor company in 1892, which became a pioneer in the development of Florida's eastern coast.  FECI is owned by private equity funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group, LLC.  For more information, visit www.feci.com.


About Fortress


Fortress Investment Group, LLC is a leading, highly diversified global investment manager with approximately $39.9 billion of assets under management as of December 31, 2018. Founded in 1988, Fortress manages assets on behalf of over 1,750 institutional clients and private investors worldwide across a range of credit and real estate, private equity and permanent capital investment strategies. Investment performance is our cornerstone -we strive to generate strong risk adjusted returns for our investors over the long term. For additional information on Fortress, please visit www.fortress.com.


About the Position

The Chief Sales Officer (CSO) will be a member of the Executive Committee that is responsible for providing leadership, vision and strategic direction to the business’s overall sales program inclusive of securing new customers, expanding opportunities within the current consumer base through various initiatives, and delivering new product offerings. The CSO leads and manages all activities within the revenue generating disciplines including but not limited to,  corporate, leisure, contracted business, corporate sponsorships and partnerships, revenue management, and ancillary revenue including food and beverage sales, retail sales, parking and ground transportation revenues.  The CSO will also be responsible for the creation and implementation of an integrated Sales & Marketing plan for the company.

Included in this role is responsibility for directing and managing market competitiveness, pricing, compensation, distribution and channel strategies. This goal is achieved by providing leadership toward the achievement of maximum growth in line with the company’s vision and values.


The CSO will report directly to the President and will closely coordinate and be responsible for integration with the Chief Marketing Officer, the Chief Financial Officer and the Senior Vice President of Technology.


The CSO has a superior track record of generating scalable, repeatable and predictable sales revenue in a rapidly growing organization. The successful candidate will have proven experience in creating the KPIs (ie: prospects, leads, conversion rates, sales cycle booking window) that form the foundation for the organization's overall sales pipeline and revenue projections.

The CSO will maintain principle responsibility for all activities that generate revenue for the company including:, corporate sales,  group or wholesale ticket sales, 3rd party distribution systems, sponsorship, advertising revenues, naming rights and any other forms of ancillary revenue.


The CSO will establish and maintain excellent relationships with C-level executives of the Company, key clients and channel partners.


The CSO will be an integral contributor to product creation activities, including the specific identification of sub-markets and customer segments and the assembly of goods and services that are the offering to same.


The CSO will be responsible for organizing and aligning resources to correlate to the revenue segments and expectations of the Company.


The CSO will also be the chief "evangelist" for the Company's product set.


The CSO will be responsible for developing a go-to market launch, including contracted sales, for the Orlando-to-Miami segment while maintaining a laser focus on building ridership for the south segment.


The CSO will also work on business development and partnership opportunities for Virgin Trains West.


Responsibilities

Leadership

  • Provide strong leadership and strategic direction to the overall sales program and team.

  • Motivate, influence and persuade peers and associates across a large geographical network.

Sales Strategies

  • Create and execute sales strategies to meet and exceed revenue goals

  • Develop compensation formulas and territories to maximize sales productivity.

  • Develop new services or product attributes to drive incremental revenue, business expansion or in response to learnings from current operations.

  • Establish guest loyalty and retention strategies in conjunction with the CMO.

  • Identify strategic business opportunities.

Product Creation

  • Research, develop and define specific product offerings designed to generate various components of revenue from targeted customer segments.

Sales Performance Strategies and Effectiveness

  • In conjunction with CMO, develop and implement a monthly metrics-based plan to create demand, and achieve specific revenue targets for multiple sub-segments/audiences.

  • Set individual and organization wide goals, objectives and targets for sales to support the overall economics of the company.

  • Develop and manage a set of tools and metrics to monitor specific performance of sales efforts against targets.

  • Cultivate specific relationships, agreements or relationships that directly or indirectly generate specific revenue streams.

  • Develop and manage tools for measurement and analysis of customer satisfaction and retention with products, services and value propositions.

  • Develop and tightly integrate Customer Experience team with sales.

  • Set clear, key performance metrics, efficiently delegate responsibility and reward and recognize outstanding performance. 

Functional Alignment 

  • Collaborate with Executive team to ensure consistent alignment.

  • Work collaboratively with the marketing department that will develop initiatives that support and provide leads to the revenue and sales teams.

  • Provide required data and analysis to inform information technology necessary to support revenue generation.

  • Provide data and analysis necessary to support financial reporting and planning functions for the company.

Qualifications

  • Minimum of 15 years of relevant executive sales management experience in a B2B environment with a proven record of generating scalable, repeatable and predictable sales revenue.

  • Highly developed financial modeling and analytical skills.

  • Superior presentation, written and oral communication skills.

  • Proven capabilities to lead and integrate in complex and unprecedented situations with new and disruptive products and services.

  • Uncontrollable curiosity for current culture and technology and the creative application of same against various business opportunities.

  • A track record of accomplishment that instantly establishes credibility for the company. 

  • Irrepressible optimism and a willingness to engage deeply with the executive team to advance ideas, initiatives and strategies.


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