DOUBLING RESULTS BY SHIFTING THINKING NOT PEOPLE
The world’s largest internet security company significantly increased sales revenue and profitability by shifting their people’s thinking and taking a ‘cradle to grave’ approach to training.
In an increasingly competitive Internet security marketplace, our client’s Asia Pacific sales team were already achieving their sales targets. But to keep pace with strategic goals, management knew that they needed to increase the value of every sale and maximise the profitability of every client. To achieve this, the sales team needed to change their skills, behaviour… and thinking.
The Client’s Brief
The Sales and HR Directors approached Paul Izbicki with two key challenges:
- Design a training programme that shifts our existing salespeople from a transactional, reactive, product-based sell to a high end consultative solution-based sell.
- Create a tailored programme that creates sustainable change (rather than traditional one hit workshops)
We started by assessing each salesperson’s skills, preferences and attitudes and (based on Total Inter Action’s comprehensive research into behavioural influence) compared them to those required in high level solution selling. A programme was then developed to bridge the gap between current and desired behaviours and attitudes.
Gaining ‘Buy-In’ From The Team
How do you get an already successful team to ‘buy-in’ to the need to change? We achieved this by sharing the skills benchmarking results with each salesperson and using HBDI®(a thinking preference diagnostic tool) to highlight the gap between existing and required communication and selling preferences.
Symantec Solution Selling (SSS) ran over six months. The steps were simple and effective:
- Based on their HBDI and skills assessment results, each person identified areas to improve.
- Solution selling skills were developed through experiential (80% doing) workshops.
- Sales managers attended a ‘train-the-coach session’ to develop their mentoring and coaching skills.
- On-the-job feedback sessions were run by management between training sessions to ensure behaviours converted into habits.
A twelve-month ‘before and after’ benchmarking of skills and commercial performance showed substantial improvements in the Asia Pacific sales team in all areas including:
Average deal value up by 380%*
Skill competencies up from 3.5 to 4.8 (out of 5)**
High end sales up 84%*
Services revenue up 243%*
* Client measurement with exchange rate benefits removed
** Independent SEC Benchmarking