Case studies

24

Background:

Several years ago Philip Squire, Consalia's CEO, was in conversation with Starbucks. The story emerged of how Starbucks had convinced Compaq, a supplier, to invest $60m in Starbucks for free. At the time wireless internet was relatively new and PDA type devises had recently been released. Starbucks saw the opportunity to increase their footfall by encouraging people to come in to check their email and to do some work over a cup of coffee or two. But the cost of installing the technology was very high. So they asked IT companies to propose solutions, for the opportunity to get their brand and equipment in front of thousands of Starbucks customers. Compaq won the deal. But what if an IT company had thought of this first and approached Starbucks with the idea? Starbucks would have been delighted - and the IT company would have gained the opportunity to greatly increase their share of wallet in Starbucks.

Objective:

How do we get salespeople to think proactively like this and to truly meet customer needs?

Approach:

Phil decided to conduct a research project to answer this question. Interviewing over 50 high level customers globally on the qualities they did, and did not want from a salesperson, the majority of interviewees said only 10% met their expectations. By analysing all the comments made in the interviews Consalia established a set of four Positive/Outstanding Mindsets that customers want from a sales person and four Negative/Limiting Mindsets that they don't want - but see more often than not. The attitudes and behaviours for each Mindset were specified so they could be used as a guide for salespeople and sales coaches.

Outcome:

Historically, most sales courses, sales competencies and recruitment criteria are based on the characteristics of salespeople who are seen to be successful. This, in effect, perpetuates the customer dissatisfaction with salespeople. Consalia's training and development programmes are all based around what customers want from a salesperson ie the Four Positive Mindsets. This approach has been met with much success in a variety of organisations, the ultimate success being the Winning Value Proposition (WVP) workshop run for HP and using live deals. The workshops resulted in a conversion rate of 70%, compared with 27% for deals not using the workshop.