"We need to win more business"
To get there the sales force needed to deepen our partnerships with priority agencies and clients and build revenue.
"Build a value proposition and improve pitch/win ratios"
Introduced a great pitching training programme and improved the way the way sales people qualify which business they pitched.
- 26% year on year uplift in "quality of presentations and proposals" Customer Satisfaction Survey
- 57% uplift in "flexibility in tailoring solutions to client needs" Customer Satisfaction Survey
"We need to train our customers"
To build more digital advertising business with clients in the Middle East who need to be more comfortable using digital advertising.
With in-house subject matter experts we built training programmes using these experts as guest lecturers. The approach was learning by doing rather than learning by listening; in the workshops clients learnt to apply digital advertising solutions to their real marketing imperatives.
A programme of workshops was run in the region and they were repeated annually.
- One advertiser grew to be biggest spender in the region and became really excited about digital and understood its role in the media mix; therefore our TV advertising spend was not cannibalised. The workshops became so popular, running them was built into subsequent contracts with the client. The approach in the Middle East became the blueprint for work in Asia.
"We need to sell more of this"
It was vital to sell more of a particular advertising product in one specific financial year.
The key to success was to increase the sales team's confidence and respect for this product and encourage them to engage with the right type of customer.
The product was given centre stage at the annual sales kick off. The leadership team fully endorsed the programme. The training group led by Tim, partnered with product specialists and marketing groups, to take training to 10 teams across Europe. Each member of each team had to bring a live prospect to the session.
- The training generated an increase in revenue and more of the right kind of customer bought the product.
Success! And 1 in 4 prospects role-played in the workshops were converted after the training.
- This model was replicated in North America for another important product.
"Do our team know enough about the products and solutions they are selling?"
We should understand the level of knowledge amongst our sales people to measure the effectiveness of our sales training.
We created a pre-flight check approach using an on-line platform which exposed sales people to tough questioning on six critically important sales propositions.
Sales teams went through their flight-checks exercise; the whole initiative was supported by the leadership team who ensure that everyone went through the checks (into the flight simulator!)
- We gained valuable indicators from the scores determining which propositions the sales group was most comfortable articulating. There were some surprises; those propositions that ostensibly appeared complicated were readily understood. We could also use this approach to pre-qualify people who might or might not need training on a particular topic.
"We need to build a great sales team"
What is the robust, scalable approach to sales force development?
Start point was to clearly define the sales role at four levels, (What is my job?), then fix sales competencies, (What I need to be good at?), And establish a way of measuring the gap, if any, between actual and desirable level of skill.
Built job descriptions for each of the four levels allowing for regional variations; designed 12 sales competencies and via a Sales Development Centre measured each person in 9 different geographies via case-study exercises.
- All 70 sales people were given a personal report (detailing skills to nurture and areas to work on). This report was then turned into an Action Plan and written into each person's Annual Objectives. The rolled-up data provided a critical and un-biased input for a sales learning and development strategy for the following 12 - 14 months.