Mentor Group was engaged to design a programme in the Asia Pacific region, to develop the sales capability of the teams who support the mainstream sales function, but are not in direct sales (Marketing, Technical, Pre-sales).
The aim was to include them in the sales development process, and enable them to make a sales contribution. These support teams were located in 6 countries across the region. The goal was give them a consistent understanding of Dell’s core strategic message, and encourage them to proactively contribute to the sales effort & position Dell as a strategic partner when they were dealing with clients.
Dell is a global Information Technology company that listens to its customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. The Dell marketing & technical community is increasingly involved in solutions sales environments, but they tended to focus purely on product & technical solutions for customers, whilst Dell sales are looking at the overall business solution. The challenge was to get supporting staff thinking & acting in a more sales focused way, listening to & understanding the customers’ business focused “bigger picture” & enhancing the Dell strategy for solution focused sales.
Mentor Group worked with the Dell Learning and Development team to assess the level of sales knowledge & awareness of the target participants. We created a unique third generation Development Centre to meet the range of business challenges and issues identified.
A dedicated programme manager, experienced in complex & high impact programmes, managed the entire rollout across the region, attending each event. This ensured:
- Clear planning & process design applying best practices from the outset
- Consistent messaging & a high standard of delivery
- Immediate reaction to feedback enabling continuous improvement
- Seamless execution
The Development Centre solution was deployed across the Asia Pacific region in China, India, Australia, Singapore & Malaysia (Japan had to be moved to a later date due to the Tsunami disaster). It replicated a ‘live sales environment’ adopting the key stages of the solution sales process through qualification, opportunity development, customer engagement, closing and virtual team working. In order to develop the participants skill set:
- Non Dell staff were used to deliver all parts of the program to enable the participants to relax & enjoy the experience; this is a key success factor in Asia
- Participants were given training to help them understand more about the sales process & Dells strategy
- Professional actors were used to play various customer roles enabling the participants to practise in a safe environment. The actors reacted directly to the delegate's behaviour, and gave feedback on the behavioural impact they experienced
- Trained observers were used to provide unbiased, non-judgmental feedback, completely focused on drawing out the competencies in question
The output from the Development Centres enabled Dell to manage their key sales support staff quickly and efficiently, align them to the appropriate business opportunity, and provide specific targeted development.
Sales teams reported that they found their customer relationships across their accounts improved & that support staff were uncovering new opportunities within their account base.
Staff themselves have reported a rise in self-confidence due to the constructive feedback they received, and their performance levels have risen in the 6 months following the project. Staff motivation and retention has also noticeably improved since the programme was completed.
This process was a major contributing factor in helping the business secure significant profitable solution sales revenues and provided a solid foundation for future new revenue streams.