Selling more services Case Study

Situation

The 30 office, 3,500 staff firm had embarked on a major review of the structure of their business units, and the Sales and Business Development functions which supported it. A key element of the output of the review was a suite of training programmes to roll out new processes and ways of working, including building collaboration across departments and newly-constituted business units, in order to win new business as well as increase the emphasis on selling more services to existing clients.

As we started to put the training programme together, I initially worked as Training expert with the National Sales Manager, to source expert trainers in Sales and BD and identify a suitable manager for the ongoing Sales and BD suite of training programmes. Shortly after we had selected and appointed four new suppliers, the Sales Manager moved on and I took over responsibility for designing the suite of training programmes, working with the external suppliers and Senior BD manager as Subject Matter Expert for Sales and BD.

New training representatives within the newly-constituted business units were brought together to discuss and agree the business aims and objectives of the overall Sales and BD Training Plan and to agree the outline of the programmes, workshops, coaching sessions and related elements. Related issues:

Absence of Sales and BD training programmes over the preceding years had led to views across the business including:

  • We’ve managed so far, so why bother?
  • Starting from scratch is expensive, so we either prioritise just a few people or we won’t bother at all
  • Lack of urgency; unwilling to set deadlines – as everything needs to be bespoke for not only the business but each business unit, it will take a long time to be ready
  • Cultural change associated with structural review likely to have an impact on the expectations of business leaders and programme participants from “the business” as well as from the training programmes
  • New programmes, new suppliers and new business leaders
  • Little experience within in-house training team around Sales and BD training

My role
I was responsible for:

  • Building and managing the relationships with the external suppliers
  • Managing the internal training representatives Nationally and by Business Unit
  • Designing and developing the launch programmes
  • Assessing, agreeing and managing the budgets, actual costs and other direct materials and resources
  • Increasing the skills and knowledge within the training function around Sales and BD
  • Delivering launch programme, with one of the selected suppliers

My contribution

  • Briefed external suppliers on the training processes and systems and managed the relationships with the business and each other
  • Managing detailed briefings for external suppliers with Sales and BD representatives, and senior staff within departments and business units
  • Planned, organised and facilitated meetings of business unit training representatives
  • Worked closely with Business Unit head, ensuring:
  • Departmental heads and training representatives were fully engaged with programme design and objectives
  • Priorities and rollout for overall training programme, particularly launch event were agreed
  • Bookings and cancellations, external venues, external suppliers and related resources were managed cost-effectively
  • Collated and organised all training documentation and information
  • Co-delivered innovative launch programme, including introduction to psychometrics and follow-on coaching for selected individuals
  • Collated feedback 6 weeks after each event to identify key successes

Key achievements / outputs

  • Ran launch programme as 3 events, each with 25 partners and directors, mixing levels of experience, departmental disciplines and office representation described as:
  • “Highly effective in building internal relationships”
  • “Learnt more about the firm as a whole”
  • “Identified specific colleagues to work with for prospects and clients”
  • “Changed the way I approach meetings with clients and prospects”
  • Partners reported selling more services to existing clients and winning new business as a result of the event, its learning and the resultant collaboration with other partners ranging from one-off contracts for £25,000 to ongoing work, valued at £1m in the first 3 years.