Strategic Sales Initiative Ignites Double-Digit Top-Line Margin Growth

Business Issue

An American-based multinational manufacturer’s sales executives were experiencing increasing frustration due to declining sales, flat new account acquisition, and inaccurate forecasts. Lengthening sales cycles and declining win rates drove up the cost of sales, compelling leaders to find immediate relief and transform their sales organization.

Through insights from Wilson Learning, sales executives and sales managers recognized that inconsistent sales processes, inefficient pipeline and opportunity management methods, and pervasive skill gaps contributed to the multiple simultaneous sales challenges. They needed to create standardized enterprise processes fully integrated with sales automation tools to equip their sales teams with the ability to prospect effectively and positively influence customers’ decision-making processes. They also recognized the need to create transparent leading sales metrics and activities, more effective coaching practices, and ongoing accountability.

Solution

In order to implement a multiyear, top-down sales transformation, sales managers and representatives completed Wilson Learning’s Leading for Performance™, Counselor Prospecting™, and The Counselor Salesperson™ programs. To further drive behavior change and generate a higher level of sales performance, sellers received timely follow-up reinforcement activities along with manager coaching.

The initiative began with sales executives partnering with Wilson Learning to untangle the root causes of the manufacturer’s challenges and shape the multi-year, top-down sales transformation solution. They motivated top-down participation in change efforts across the sales organization and addressed sales processes and tools integration to eliminate inaccurate sales measures and reporting. They also focused specific attention on sales skill development, starting with themselves.

Sales leaders immersed themselves in the performance improvement solutions by adopting a sales coaching model and the requisite leadership skills. They embraced and demonstrated the selling skills they wanted their frontline sales and territory managers to use. This top-down coaching and skills demonstration created tremendous buy-in and momentum. When the solutions rolled out to the broader sales organization, territory managers were fully engaged.

Territory managers across the enterprise applied comprehensive discovery tools and skills to think more critically about prospects, build trust more quickly with customers, and focus their efforts on qualified opportunities. They received daily coaching from sales managers as they refined new sales skills and committed to sales process accuracy.

Outcome

This approach resulted in back-to-back, double-digit, record-breaking years in top-line margin growth. The company has its highest percentage of salesforce retention, including a dramatic increase in its million-dollar producers.

Specifically, among participants:

  • 94% agreed that they “were better prepared to address clients’ issues and questions.”
  • 91% agreed that they “were able to establish a greater level of trust with clients faster.”
  • 91% agreed that their “client discovery was more accurate and complete.”

Territory managers achieved the most significant improvements in client discovery and building strong client relationships that opened future opportunities.

The sales organization attributed the 32% increase in revenue generation to sales skills development, management coaching, and sales process improvements. Because of senior sales leadership’s engagement, over 95 percent of the salesforce is engaged in completing the reinforcement activities to ensure a positive impact on the bottom line.

This approach resulted in back-to-back, double-digit, record-breaking years in top-line margin growth.

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