Following the appointment of a new CEO and with an aggressive growth strategy, we were asked to assist with the development of the Sales Division to ensure the growth strategy could be realised. A Business Capability Assessment was undertaken with specific recommendations regarding: Consistency of Approach, Planning Tools, Capability Development, Leadership Coaching Capability, and Category Management.
The metrics for success would be:
- growth rates
- measurable sales competencies
- developing leadership capabilities.
Our client operates a traditional route to market for premium soft drinks, UK on & off trade, and export with a channel head leading each sales channel, reporting directly into the CEO.
Little investment into people capabilities had been undertaken over recent years whilst undergoing significant growth, resulting in a lack of consistency in approach (commercial process) across all sales channels, and varying levels of historical individual training. This created several challenges relating to people, processes, and sales tools.
- The first challenge was to break down the barriers to change from delegates using multiple and varying sales practices.
- The second challenge was to introduce and embed a change in the commercial process that would significantly disrupt the way in which people had worked for a long time.
- The third challenge was to introduce, activate and embed best-in-class sales tools to activate the commercial process more effectively.
- And finally, we needed to ensure that the leadership team were fully engaged and capable of coaching the sales division through a significant change programme.
Our approach of Assess, Recommend, and Implement provided the leadership team with the necessary confidence to activate the transformation programme.
Our experience of managing sales teams across multiple channels, including export, allowed us to gain the necessary insights into the barriers of performance and combining this with our recent consulting experience of developing sales academies provided the foundations for the development of commercial capabilities. Finally, our line management experience, both leadership and operational, provided the necessary gravitas and credibility to the sales teams to fully engage in the sales academy.
What did we deliver?
- The first significant change was the introduction of a culturally acceptable commercial process. This represented doing things the right way whilst recognising the clients cultural style.
- The foundations for developing commercial capabilities – sales competencies – were laid and provided consistency across all sales teams.
- A fundamentally different and more effective way of presenting category opportunities was introduced to engage with key customers more effectively.
- Business tools, particularly account and territory plans, were introduced to identify and activate significant growth opportunities.
- In addition, the export division was introduced to new market and distributor planning tools – prioritising market opportunities and engaging with the right distributors to activate them.
- The sales leaders, through commercial coaching, were more confident and qualified to assist the development of their team’s commercial capabilities and embed the sales academy into daily routines.
- The foundations for transforming the sales division are now in place. Phase II will concentrate upon relevant masterclasses.