Case Study Overview
Having undergone an intensive period of M&A activity, our client needed to bring disparate sales teams together in a single, unified international sales organisation. A sales organisation equipped to enable our client’s newly formed software business to capitalise on its extended product range by delivering greater value to its customers, generating cost efficiencies and realising its growth potential through increased revenue.
The current sales organisation consisted of more than 200 people located throughout the EMEA region selling products and services from five discrete product groups. Comprising account managers, technical sales, partner sales, services sales and inside sales people with widely varying skillsets and product knowledge, teams were using disparate processes, systems, and strategies inherited from the acquired companies. This situation was making it difficult for the company to:
- Forecast accurately
- Realise cost efficiencies
- Measure productivity
- Identify skills gaps
- Target new business opportunities to cross-sell and upsell
- View and manage the sales pipeline
- Align sales and marketing to customer needs
- Develop consistent account plans
- Segment & manage accounts
- Understand & analyse common buying patterns
- Deliver consistent messages and propositions to customers
At the same time, the company needed to ratify its vision and strategy, create customer-ready value propositions, and align marketing and sales efforts more closely to maximise opportunities for cross-selling and upselling.
Aware of our expertise in the areas of sales optimisation and marketing performance, Declare was asked to devise and deliver a comprehensive sales enablement programme with the objective of delivering greater value to customers and improving sales productivity and performance.
Declare conducted a detailed analysis of recent customer and employee satisfaction surveys and coupled this with a series of 1:1 meetings with members of the leadership, sales, marketing, product management, services, HR and sales operations teams across EMEA.
As common trends and business pains emerged, it was agreed that the new sales enablement programme needed to be introduced via a phased approach. In this way, sales enablement would deliver immediate business impact and value to customers whilst contributing to the company’s longer-term goals.
To determine the appropriate content, communications approach, and delivery formats for the new programme, the team used the Declare Sales Enablement Content Model.
The first phase needed to act as a foundation, addressing immediate business needs in the areas of:
- Sales, marketing, product management and services alignment
- Providing a consistent set of tools and value propositions
- Establishing rules of engagement, common sales processes, business language, metrics and methodology
Enabling both the sales organisation as well as key members of the marketing, product management and services teams to complete Phase I, the second phase would then lead to the delivery of a more focused, sales specific programme based on a multi-year, role-based programme aligned to each stage of the employee cycle; from onboarding through to continuous reinforcement.
SPECIFIC FOCUS AREAS
Drawing on Declare’s Managed Approach to Sales Training, Enablement and Readiness (MASTERS), our client’s sales enablement content model covered the following:
- Sales process – pipeline management, opportunity management, bid management
- Sales skills & behaviour
- Corporate readiness – understanding and communicating company vision
- Industry expertise
- Sales readiness to cross and up-sell products and solutions across multiple portfolios
- Business readiness – operating models, compensation plans, training investment
- Sales tools
- Deeper understanding of Professional Services capabilities
- Roles, responsibilities & accountabilities
- Internal orchestration
- Internal communications
Our recommendations included implementing the following:
- A single sales process and methodology across EMEA
- Sales skills refresher workshops
- Online access to ongoing sales skills refreshers
- Product and solution training programme both instructor-led and online
- Business strategy update sessions
In order to launch the campaign we recommended holding a pan-EMEA residential Sales Boot Camp in order to bring the entire team together for the first time and provide a forum for cross-business teamworking.
Over a 5-day period, attendees undertook an intensive programme of learning, education and training covering the following areas:
- Corporate objectives & strategy
- Enterprise solutions selling training as separate sessions for sales leaders and account managers
- Product training
- Value proposition and sales messaging workshops
- Sales tools, assets & resources available
- Customer success stories
- Systems & processes to support sales forecasting, pipeline management & opportunity management
- Overview of upcoming marketing campaigns & activities
On the last day, each country team presented their findings and learnings from the Boot Camp with a specific focus on the actions they would implement in the coming year.
So often, learnings and skills acquired during sales enablement programmes are quickly forgotten due to lack of ongoing reinforcement and support. To overcome this, Declare ensured an on-demand system was in place to reinforce the sales methodology and best practices. Available 24×7 from any device, the online system also provided direct access to solutions sales experts, video tutorials, sales tools and product information as well as providing an environment for collaboration and sharing of new customer wins and success stories.
According to our client’s head of European operations, “the enablement programme was instrumental in not just providing the sales organisation with everything they needed to be successful, but in changing the silo’d culture that existed across the organisation post the numerous acquisitions and mergers. This provided a framework for everything we had to do in becoming one organisation.”
- 30% increase in sales productivity by using a common sales process & methodology
- Improved sales forecasting using common format and terminology
- A common set of systems and tools for opportunity management
- Streamlined pipeline management and increased forecasting accuracy
- Increased ability to cross and upsell leading to broader account penetration