A Renewable Energy company was faced with challenges typical to the industry: uncertain political climate in the target market and strong international competition. And so new markets needed to be opened up, innovative products developed and modern sales and marketing instruments put into place. So far, the Sales team had practised simple product sales, without getting into the needs and wants of their customers very intensively; Sales was primarily “technology-driven.”
The challenge was to design the products and services in such a way as to fulfil the demands of the customers, and to integrate Sales into the change process early on, in order to win them over to the new way.
First, we organised a group conference. There we presented the strategic goals to the employees, and we explained why changes were essential. For their part, the Sales team had the opportunity to ask questions, make suggestions and to voice their thoughts.
Furthermore, it was decided that, in the future, the customer and their needs should be the first priority. With this in mind, all salespeople first simply needed to understand what really moved each target group. We developed appropriate profiles for these needs in a series of workshops with the employees from sales together with selected customers. In addition, the offer process as a whole was overhauled, every process phase was checked from the customer perspective and adapted and the complete catalogue of measures for the employees was expanded. New customers would be earned and the loyalty of regular customers would be increased with custom-made events.
For a swift overview of marketing, customers and markets, we developed a special system of metrics: illustrations of response times, receivables, ABC status etc. with real-time access on the web. Accompanying this, we coached the sales team in a purpose-developed program. Thanks to specific dialogue techniques, the team learned how to put the customer and their needs into the spotlight and to put themselves into the customer’s position as needed.
In the course of the restructuring, the company introduced regular quality circles, in which the sales team discussed their sales methodology with the assistance of “peer consultation”.
A fundamental change in thinking took place. Sales was now able to sell more effectively and believably – and the company grew: 25% more new customers were won and sales increased by 30% already in the first year after the restructuring. With their individualised package solutions and attractive conditions, the new products also contributed to the growth.