After a decade of aggressive growth through mergers and acquisitions, this organization needed to improve the sales effectiveness of its several brands, without losing each brand’s considerable customer intimacy.
Each brand had been acquired because of its record of success in serving demanding customers, and each brand had its own sales practices and procedures. As a whole, there was no common sales process, skill models, or sales language.
A common sales language was needed to leverage best practices and performance improvements and allow them to be transmitted from individual brands to the entire organization.
To consolidate and propagate best practices from all brands and channels of a large and diverse national salesforce, the organization turned to Wilson Learning, a sales and leadership effectiveness company.
Wilson Learning introduced an elegantly simple and powerfully cost-effective solution, Coaching for Sales Performance™. The program was delivered to 160 sales managers, who in turn applied the program’s concepts, skills, and tools in coaching and supporting to a salesforce of more than 800 sales professionals.
The content was transmitted through a one day instructor led workshop attended by all sales managers. It included a five module coaching model that helps sales managers know what to coach, how to coach, when to coach, and why to coach, with hands on practice about a real coaching opportunity.
Because of the successful implementation of Coaching for Sales Performance, this organization saw both tangible and intangible evidence of strongly improved sales effectiveness. Revenues and profits increased:
- Post training revenue grew 13% over pre training revenue.
- Gross profits saw a similar 13% increase over pre training gross profits.
The model emphasizes that coaching is a two way conversation that depends on the partnership, participation, and contribution of the individual sales professional.
The solution included coaching support tools for planning new actions and tracking performance, and tools to maintain consistency in performance goals for both the sales manager and the individual sales professional.
The solution included a survey of the salesforce that measured the frequency and effectiveness of coaching by sales management.
Measurement of sales managers’ coaching effectiveness brought to light additional evidence of improved sales effectiveness. In a post training survey of the salesforce:
- 89% of the salesforce rated the coaching by their manager as effective or highly effective.
- A strong majority of salespeople agreed that their manager’s coaching had a positive impact on their individual performance.
- The group of sales managers rated most highly by salespeople produced results that exceeded the organization’s average. This group produced revenue and profit growth of 19% (outperforming the average by 6%).
The survey also produced evidence that the learning was powerfully extended to impact daily sales behaviors. When individual sales personnel were asked about content pieces, they reported that all of the sales managers demonstrated all of the skills presented in the webinar. Additionally, managers from other non sales areas of the business have requested the equivalent non sales coaching program to help embed these coaching skills throughout the organization.