When two airlines merged and combined their express shipping and logistics organizations into one, there was no common sales methodology or culture and the scope of training was very limited in both organizations. As revenue from shipping showed a post-merger decline, management went looking for help. They hoped to find a competitive advantage in an industry that has been dominated by transactional selling. They wanted to find a way to sell “more strategically” and build stronger relationships.
Wilson Learning proposed a long-term approach that began with a shared sales methodology and a common sales language. This started the organization on a path that moved them away from transactional selling and toward a more strategic approach focused on providing solutions to customers’ business needs.
Two programs were implemented. The first, The Counselor Salesperson™, introduced a four-step sales process, as well as skills for building trust, discovering the business value of solving shipping problems, advocating a solution that delivers the maximum value to customers, and supporting customers’ ongoing success.
Second, Negotiating to Yes™ built on the success of The Counselor Salesperson implementation and introduced an even more strategic approach to solving customers’ shipping and logistics business problems. Months after the workshops and reinforcement activities, a follow-up survey revealed very high levels of skill application; all the skills introduced in the program were being applied on the job with customers. Participants attributed significant growth in revenue to the application of these skills.
Reinforcement: The solution included several components to ensure that skills learned in the classroom were successfully applied in the field with customers.
- Managers were taught how to reinforce and coach to the specific concepts, skills, and desired sales behaviors learned in the classroom. They also received weekly content reminders and coaching protocols for supporting their salespeople.
- Participants were given ongoing access to electronic modules to review and refresh the concepts of the course.
This global implementation included participants from around the world, including Australia, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Latin America, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The sales representatives developed into trusted advisors rather than transactional salespeople. The salesforce called higher in customer organizations and, most importantly, salespeople consistently used discovery skills and negotiating skills to create more value for customer accounts. Results showed:
- Participants attributed more than $14 million in sales revenue as a result of The Counselor Salesperson and Negotiating to Yes skills and tools.
- 82% agreed that they are better prepared to address clients’ issues and questions.
- 88% agreed that they are able to negotiate more positive outcomes/agreements.