Chemical Company Boosts Sales $12.8 Million by Developing a Consultative Selling Culture

Overview

This premium provider recently faced increased competition from lower-priced competitors. Collision centers were attracted to lower-priced and lower-quality options. Even the company’s lowest-priced alternative was more expensive than most competitors’ higher-end products.

To reverse this trend and reclaim its market position, the company set out to change its sales culture to one that was more versatile, professional, and consultative.

Company sales teams now:

  • Conduct deeper discovery and listen for business cues
  • Are considered trusted resources for products and targeted business solutions
  • Sell significantly more higher-end products, resulting in higher revenue

Business Issue

The company recognized the limitations inherent in its traditional approach of hiring sales personnel with vehicle painting and collision repair experience. These knowledgeable individuals were good at selling product features and benefits. However, they too often resorted to pitching product features and offering price discounts when faced with competition or objections. The company was determined to transform its sales organization into a salesforce able to consult with clients, add value beyond the products, and become trusted advisors who help solve clients’ problems.

Solution

The company selected Wilson Learning—a global sales, leadership, and workforce effectiveness learning services company—to deliver the business results they needed. Wilson Learning used its own consultative selling process when working with the company’s decision-makers. The Wilson Learning sales representative’s use of consultative and versatile selling skills won over the client while modeling the approach, demonstrating how effective the training would be for its salesforce.

The content was delivered to more than 220 sales associates and 40 managers as a series of three 2-day intensive workshops designed to help salespeople and managers progress through four levels of sales proficiency. The training and content helped participants develop consultative selling skills and created a common sales language and process for increasing sales and margins across divisions and client demographics.

Wilson Learning customized all materials, including the participant guide, presentation materials, and reinforcement messages and tools. These highly customized materials reflected the actual collision center environment and enabled attendees to easily link training to job use.

The four levels of professional selling included:

  • Level One—Technical Sales. The customer views the sales associate as a vendor with a product to sell.
  • Level Two—Consultative Sales. The customer views the sales associate as a consultant and problem solver who adds value to their business.
  • Level Three—Business Partner. The customer views the sales associate as an advisor who understands their business, thinks strategically about their products and services, and adds significant value to their business.
  • Level Four—Trusted Advisor. The customer views the sales associate as best-of-breed, offering leadership and depth of industry knowledge; key decision-makers incorporate the trusted advisor’s input.

The customized sales workshops included these Wilson Learning programs: The Counselor Salesperson and The Versatile Salesperson. Sales managers also participated in Coaching for Sales Performance and Meeting Leadership Challenges.

Outcome

The comprehensive curriculum, supported by Wilson Learning’s Extended Learning System, helped this global chemical company grow its market share from 7% to 10% in one year. The second year, share grew another 2%. Furthermore, $12.8 million in sales was attributed to the new consultative selling approach that enabled their salespeople to position themselves as trusted advisors.

$12.8 million in sales was attributed to the new consultative selling approach that enabled their salespeople to position themselves as trusted advisors.

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