In 2017, a major global company asked us to undertake a preliminary consultation process to observe their sales and account management teams to identify and understand their areas of excellence and areas in need of improvement. We were then commissioned to design two bespoke learning programmes to be rolled out across their international teams.
The client’s desired learning outcomes were to:
Increase total number of sales
Increase value of each individual sale
It was also important that sales managers and account managers were trained in a single, consistent and coordinated model which would be used across the entire team. This would improve management skills and ensure their ability to effectively plan for future development in their territories.
More recently, they requested a third programme to give their project managers increased commercial awareness and give them a deeper understanding of the sales process.
CONSULTATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
We began by tasking our local consultants to review information about the performance of two countries, from which a pilot study was developed.
This included attending 1-2-1 meetings with the country heads, listening to their perspectives on what was working well and what could be improved.
The consultants also had 1-2-1 meetings with sales managers and salespeople to uncover the skills gaps in their teams, and observed sales and client meetings to identify which behaviours constituted good practice for the company.
Following the consultancy, our Consultancy Team worked with senior stakeholders to produce a comprehensive report of the findings, including key themes and trends, and agreed on specific KPIs to measure.
As part of this process, we made recommendations for the duration, approach and content of their learning programmes, as well as understanding the level of organisational readiness for achieving the stated objectives.
We ran a pilot in the UK and the Nordic countries in early 2017.
Afterwards, we gathered feedback from participants and implemented a number of changes, including to the nature of the follow-up training, adjusting the ‘Buddy’ system and creating a stronger alignment between the Sales and Account Managers’ experiences and course content. We began rolling out the full programme to the entire company from late 2017.
SOLUTION AND INTERNATIONAL ROLL-OUT
The modular blended solutions developed by our Consultancy Team and implemented throughout the company, were split into two distinct streams and facilitated by a team of 25 trainers in 12 languages for over 400 participants
The programme for their sales managers covered sales development and people management, while the account managers focused on getting the most out of their markets and increasing value
Both programmes utilised face-to-face classroom sessions, virtual classrooms and 1-2-1 coaching over several months
All participants were given a ‘buddy’ to help motivate ongoing development outside of formal learning
100% Account Managers & 96% Sales Managers would recommend the programme to a colleague
98% of all participants agreed they were using tools and techniques they had learnt and seeing improvements in their sales results
NEW THIRD BLENDED PROGRAMME
After the success of the two initial sales programmes, in mid-2019 the client began asking us to develop another related programme. For this one, the main outcome was to give project managers an understanding of the sales process so they could have more successful and productive conversations with the Account Managers and become more involved in negotiations and client-facing meetings.
Due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback from participants, the client specifically requested the same trainers that had delivered the first two programmes. This also aided with ensuring consistency in message and training across all levels.
Until this point, the majority of learning had been delivered face-to-face, but with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, this had to be paused. The client was initially hesitant to switch all learning online, but after successfully proving our virtual capabilities, we transferred the remaining courses into virtual delivery. The two original sales programmes have continued running virtually as well. In recognition of the new working norms, course content has been updated to cover remote working and leadership skills.
MID 2019 - ONGOING
The newer programme for project managers was quickly embraced by the client and participants – it ran 11 times within the first two months of its launch.
Understanding of the Sales Process – Project managers
98% of project managers agreed that it had reinforced skills they will use in their role
98% agreeing that trainers were well prepared, demonstrated their knowledge, encouraged active participation
This was by far the best Sales Management training and the best trainer I have ever experienced… Cannot think of any way they could be improved.
I feel that this course, and previous courses, has given me the tools I need to progress in sales. The more I practise and use the techniques, the more confident I become.
Very good course. Jeremy engaged the full team and everyone was actively participating sharing best practice and previous learning.
Together, the three programmes have covered the company’s international workforce, with participants from the UK, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, France and Sweden, becoming an ongoing partnership between us and the client. New recruits to the company are given training as part of their onboarding, and all participants continue to receive regular Skill Booster sessions.