Transforming your sales programme

Feb 5, 2018 | Blog, Selling Skills Training

This article originally appeared in the October 2017 edition of Pi magazine, published by Howden Insurance Brokers

Is it time your team changed its approach to sales? Read on to discover some practical advice about transforming your sales programme and making it a resounding success.

Having worked with many professional services clients over the years, several of them have tried to transform their approach to sales (or business development if you prefer). Some of these organisations have put together a formal transformation programme whilst others have simply sought to make a positive shift in their sales efforts.

Whether you are considering wholesale change or a few tweaks to your approach, the following is worth considering.

“This article borrows from research (McKinsey, Hinge Marketing) as well as my own experiences”, says Gillian Sutherland.

First – answer the question “Why are we doing this?”

1. Articulate reason for change.

There must be a compelling reason for change with a clearly articulated “what will happen if we do not make these changes” and why the current status is unacceptable.

2. Design your programme.

Have a clear vision about what the transformed organisation will look like. “In 3 years time we will be working in these sectors, we will have these key clients, we will be known for….” The vision needs to be supported by 12 month objectives; For example, our objectives over the next 12 months are:

  • To have made our first sale in the Oil & Gas sector
  • To have doubled the number of business development meetings we are having as a business
  • To have developed a Key Client programme for our top 10 accounts

Clear KPI’s for all involved.

3. Put together a team to drive the programme

Your team make up will be somewhat dependent on the size of the programme but to make it work you will need senior sponsorship. One of the firms I worked with had the CEO, CFO, Head of BD/Marketing, Head of HR and the four business unit leaders on the team.

4. Develop skills, process and behaviours

You will need to include training into your programme. Don’t make the mistake that many make and think that a one-off training course will develop sustained behavioural change – it doesn’t! Training works if:

  • People know why they are doing it
  • How it will help them do their job better
  • They are given support following the event
  • There are follow ups and refreshers

5. Give your best and potential performers access to coaching

This demonstrates a real commitment to improving people through strong, challenging and empathetic coaching. It complements training and allows the recipients to really embed new habits. Coaching should be given to both individuals and teams. High-performing teams whether they are leadership, key client, market/sector teams can take the business to new places and turbo-boost business development.

6. Measure and monitor progress

Track the KPI’s, celebrate success, involve don’t dictate.

7. Behaviour

Lastly, be very clear about the behaviour you expect and do not tolerate poor behaviour regardless of seniority or past performance!

Start our online cross selling course today

For a short time only we are offering our online Professional Services Cross Selling Training free, so now you can being honing your cross selling capabilities in just 30 minutes.

Questas Cross Selling

Our interactive e-learning is CPD certified and is designed to help you uncover new opportunities with existing clients.

Start here

10 Steps To A Successful Virtual Business Development Meeting

Virtual business development meetings have become a way of life for many of us.  Ensuring they are successful requires a well thought out plan of action. If you are a business developer, client relationship manager, or a technical expert who is required to win...

Espresso Shot Learning Webinars

Espresso Shot Learning Our Espresso Shot Learning sessions are punchy and effective 30 minute webinars, specifically designed to deliver your team the key points and latest thinking in Business Development and Client Relationship Management. These bite sized learning...

Training online, moving from the classroom and maintaining effective learning

One thing we already knew – you can’t just take a classroom course and deliver it online. With over 20 years experience in corporate training we took the principles and tested on ourselves and friendly clients how best to adapt to get it right online. And those rehearsals were the best investment we could have made! Here’s what we learnt delivering Virtual Classroom Training.

3 Ways Virtual Training Can Help Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Like many businesses, we’ve had to adapt to new ways of working since the pandemic began.  Virtual training has not only been the only way to continue to deliver our courses, we’ve also discovered another positive outcome – a huge reduction in our (and our client’s) carbon footprint!

How To Manage & Maintain Client Relationships in a Virtual World

Are you tasked with managing important client relationships whilst working remotely? We ran a live webinar on 24th April attended by over 70 people, which aimed at help professionals who have the new challenge of nurturing client relationships during lockdown and...

Webinar: Managing and maintaining client relationships in a virtual world

Managing and maintaining client relationships in a virtual world. A practical and engaging free live webinar aimed at professionals that work in the natural and built environment. This is for YOU if you are tasked with maintaining client relationships during the lockdown period and beyond.

Cross Selling: how to achieve growth by cross selling in professional services

‘Cross-Selling’ is the key to smart business growth but why is it so difficult? Questas CEO & Founder, Gary Williams reveals how to overcome the barriers and generate significant opportunities from existing clients.What is cross selling? Cross-selling is best...

Four ways to get out of your comfort zone and be the catalyst to growth

Questas' Gary Williams writes in the RICS Recruit Blog about how to develop confidence in technical staff who are required to "sell". Gary is an expert Business Development Consultant and Executive Coach and works with leading professional firms in the built and...

Cross-selling skills

Cross Selling Skills There has to be added value for the client to buy additional services from you. If they already buy that second service from an alternative provider, you must clearly ’sell’ the benefit of them buying both services from you. Course overview By...

Negotiation Skills

Negotiation Skills Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another matter, but the first step is always communication. Course overview This course is designed to take you through the theory and practice of ‘Principled Negotiation’. It...

Get in touch