One of the world’s largest software companies wanted to find new ways to improve the performance of its enterprise sales organisation. Having experienced many years of exponential growth, the company recognised the need to invest in the development of its sales people in order to ensure long-term future growth.
With revenue targets in the coming fiscal year in excess of $1bn for the UK business, sales enablement was a pressing and demanding requirement. The company also needed to prepare its sales organisations around the world for major new product launches. Uptake by the enterprise customer base would be critical to the overall success of the new products.
Sales readiness needed to extend beyond technical product knowledge, pricing and availability, it needed to enable the enterprise sales organisation to embrace and understand the business and financial value to customers of the new products as well as the benefits of the company’s global sales process, methodology and systems.
The overall cost of sales readiness delivery needed to be reduced by 15% YoY. Business scorecards required at least 90% of the sales organisation completed the required sales readiness curriculum.
Declare was initially approached by the General Manager of the company’s UK Enterprise & Partner Group. We were asked to review current sales readiness delivery practices and make recommendations for improving the productivity, efficiency and solutions knowledge of a large, complex sales organisation – an organisation comprising pre- sales, technical sales, solutions sales, and partner sales people as well as account managers and sales leaders.
Working with sales and business unit leaders as well as the company’s corporate sales readiness team, Declare devised a whole new programme for sales readiness in terms of approach, content and delivery.
Whilst the company already had a comprehensive set of sales readiness offerings, we wanted to understand why there was such a shortfall in uptake.
- Did these offerings really align to the needs of the sales organisation as individuals and as a group as a whole?
- How could the company avoid wasting money on organising sales training workshops that were being poorly attended due to last minute cancellations?
- How could we make the valuable time spent out of the field conducting sales readiness activities more appealing, relevant and valuable?
Our findings helped our client to understand the specific areas in which sales readiness needed to be improved more clearly. Improvements that would make vital content – delivered via online or instructor-led training, workshops, knowledgeshare, reference and reinforcement points – more engaging, appealing, relevant, cost-effective and, most importantly, actively adopted and applied by the entire enterprise sales organisation.
SPECIFIC FOCUS AREAS
With support from the company’s Corporate Readiness Group coupled with input from our client’s approved training partners around the world, Declare devised and developed a whole new sales readiness programme – the Managed Approach to Sales Training, Education and Readiness (MASTERS).
Excited by the new programme and its supporting management tools, Declare was retained to orchestrate and manage a full rollout not just in the UK, but across the company’s enterprise sales organisations in the Central & Eastern Europe and Middle East & Africa regions.
This video shows the residential element of the new sales enablement programme.
Internal Marketing to Maintain Momentum
Refreshed with new and engaging content delivered in both online and instructor-led formats, Declare supported the launch and ongoing delivery of the new programme with a continuous integrated, internal marketing campaign. A marketing campaign designed to promote the programme’s availability, value and relevance as well as to create a sense of excitement amongst the sales organisations to want to engage with the new programme.
To fully deliver on the promise of the new programme, achieve the required cost efficiencies and extract additional value from peer networking, MASTERS included an annual, week-long, residential element. By analysing the current cost model Declare identified significant costs savings could be realised by running multiple workshops simultaneously, thereby guaranteeing far higher attendance whilst reducing overall delivery costs per head. The residential element also afforded attendees valuable networking time with their peers.
Once successfully implemented in the UK, Declare was asked to extend the programme across the entire EMEA region. In less than 18 months, the new sales enablement programme was delivered in 8 different countries across 2 continents for more than 1,200 people.
Declare’s work enabled our client’s Enterprise and Partner Group to:
- Overachieve it fiscal goals through increased team alignment and improved solutions knowledge
- Achieve a cost saving of 28% YoY for sales readiness; 13% above the stated goal
- Increase corporate solution sales process adoption rates to near 95% leading to more accurate forecasting, planning and measurement
- Achieve its stated sales readiness consumption, completion & adoption rates
- Enable its sales organisation to deliver detailed, ROI-based value propositions for their customers to increase the uptake of major new software releases and upgrades
The approach has now been adopted as best practice by the company’s Corporate Sales, Marketing & Services Readiness Group and implemented across other business segments.