A relatively young life science company enjoyed years of growth and stability from its premium human milk-based specialty formulations for the nutritional needs of critically ill and premature infants in the NICU.
The company’s commercial leaders recognized its sales teams had proficiently acquired accounts in hospitals in which decision-makers were more easily identified and accessible. However, with stagnating sales, leaders also recognized they were missing a substantial opportunity to convert into customers a segment of indifferent, “status quo” hospitals using cow-based alternatives.
Not only did the COVID-19 pandemic make it nearly impossible to “get in the door” and meet prospects face-to-face, but a new competitor was poised to enter the market, invading a space in which, until now, the company held an exclusive competitive advantage.
To more effectively navigate the NICU labyrinth and convert indifferent customers, it was imperative that sales teams use a consistent sales methodology to quickly establish trust and credibility, thereby increasing the customer’s willingness to share information, make decisions, and take action.
With a deep understanding of this company’s desired state and modeling the approach to building trusting partnerships and adding business value, Wilson Learning advocated The Counselor Salesperson™ for the core selling methodology.
Wilson Learning’s research and experience has shown that sales leader coaching plays a significant role in salesperson adoption of skill and behavior change. To improve results even further, Wilson Learning recommended sales managers participate in Coaching the Counselor Salesperson™ to model, support, and reinforce the new sales methodology.
With Wilson Learning’s delivery flexibility approach and expert facilitators, both programs were delivered virtually during the pandemic.
After completing the workshops, sales specialists received a series of asynchronous reinforcement activities to complete and submit online to their sales leaders. In turn, managers provided coaching and feedback inside of the ELS platform. Busy sales managers were equipped with coaching protocols, tips, and a best practice meeting guide and win/loss review guide to streamline their coaching efforts. These tools ease the responsibility of coaching one-on-one or during team meetings.
Sales specialists are fulfilling key objectives for effectively moving their opportunities forward while establishing trust and gaining buyer’s cooperation in sharing information. They are discovering the real nature and scope of customers’ business problems and uncovering and appealing to customer buying motives to effectively sell top-down in the NICU. Presentations, which had primarily been based on price, are now linking solutions more effectively to the customer’s perceived value.
Participant evaluation survey data confirms significant impacts on work performance:
- An 18% revenue increase was attributed to The Counselor Salesperson.
- 95% agreed that it was easy to apply the skills on the job.
- 94% agreed that their “client discovery is more accurate and complete.”
- 94% agreed that they are “better prepared to address clients’ issues and questions.”
- 81% agreed that they “are able to establish a greater level of trust with clients faster.”
Sales manager coaching is critical to embed new skills into the sales culture. Data showed:
- 92% of reinforcement assessments received sales manager feedback using the convenience of the in-platform coaching capability.