Issues/Pain or Opportunity: Multi-location statewide retail copy centres and Xerox sales and service objectives required 20% revenue growth via outstanding customer service and solution selling. Some staff were good, some average and some poor in performance in these areas.
Reasons: Procedures and management of the copy centres were inconsistent and managers had technical proficiency but little solution selling or staff coaching skills. Store staff would not upsell and seek the next project or make recommendations without being asked. Xerox machine sales team had a range of solution selling skills and territory management practices however; several had significant opportunity to improve revenue.
Capabilities needed: Staff solution selling for the front counter; Copy Centre manager solution selling to support the staff; Xerox machine sales team solution selling review and territory management/call planning for new business development.
We provided: Customer service workshops statewide for front counter staff with Branch managers in the session; then we provided coaching skills to the branch managers to support the service/sales skills learned by the team; the Xerox sales team attended three custom designed workshops to review solution selling and call planning.
Result: Copy Centre sales developed and exceeded the growth target; one Copy Centre manager was moved back into the sales team and a new manager promoted; Xerox sales increased beyond target and Xerox Tasmania received individual and group sales recognition at the national conference.
PSG – Russell Smith
Issues/Pain or Opportunity: With a range of divisions from ICT cabling to electrical to construction and planning, Russell Smith’s divisions are leaders in each of their fields. The Tasmanian General Manager recognised the need for their professional technicians to look for other opportunities with clients both within and outside their level of expertise. The team does not see themselves as ‘sales people’ as they are very technically proficient and focused.
Reasons: Specific technical experts build unique client relationships yet they can often only focus on their own area of knowledge and not investigate other ways that their organisation can help the client. Such technical experts are very happy to respond to customer requests but can be reluctant to pro-actively engage customers to learn more about their current and future projects. Also their specialists need to know how to engage with each other when they identify an opportunity and know that it will be followed up (as their relationship with the client depends upon it).
Capabilities needed: Customised workshops that provide significant discussion and facilitation around the topics of customer relationships instead of focusing on sales skills; activities to gain the participation of a large group (40+ attendees in a workshop).
We provided: Two full day workshops with many break-out activities for the group to discuss and workshop. Broad group presentation and facilitation to engage non-sales people in a process of building deeper client relationships and bringing in the expertise of other members of the Russell Smith team. Presentation skills rather than quotes.
Result: By the end of the second workshop, the majority of the participants were actively engaging in the approach to build better client relationships. The southern region manager believed that the team now had the tools to move forward with better customer-focused conversations rather than selling the other divisions of Russell Smith. The General Manager for Tasmania believed that the customer-centric approach shifted the organisation’s focus from products/skills/expertise to relationships.
Andrew Jones Travel
Issues/Pain or Opportunity: As the premier travel agency in Southern Tasmania, Andrew Jones is committed to exceptional service for both commercial and individual clients. As operator commissions reduce and internet competitors expand, there is an increased need to qualify clients prior to investing significant time/money researching itineraries and rates. To make their service a ‘point of difference’, their busy consultants need to also continue to learn more about the emotional & logical requirements of each client to provide ‘something extra’. This special effort for the client can link to a more fee-based approach.
Reasons: The travel industry is moving to a fee-based approach and only those clients who need a higher level of service or require a consultant to manage their travel details will likely see value by investing in this service. Consultants can become product and quote focused, due to the timeliness of clients’ demands, and time to more deeply identify the interest in the many optional approaches can be challenging. The team needs a practical yet engaging approach that helps them create a deeper client relationship.
Capabilities needed: Delivery at the client’s offices for the last two hours of the business day. Several group presentation/discussions that engage consultant ideas while presenting practical approaches which build client relationships. An understanding of the travel industry and the changes affecting clients and agents.
We provided: Three two hour workshops approximately one month apart in their meeting room. Facilitated a group discussion to allow the professional consultants to air their challenges as well as their ideas for meeting the changes in the industry. Presentation of qualification, diagnostic and proposal approaches to demonstrate the increased commitment to client service and custom relationships.
Result: By the third workshop, stories from the consultants indicated that they had not only tried many of the new techniques but succeeded with several clients in expanding their suggestions. Clients remarked about the continued excellence of Andrew Jones Travel service and their professional consultants.
Altim (Hardware Pro, Fence City, Joinery Now)
Issues/Pain or Opportunity: As a successful Tasmanian family owned-operated business since 1968, Altim’s three divisions hit a ‘hard patch’ in 2011. Altim restructured the business under a new plan to revitalise the sales, service and marketing of the company and found the managers/supervisors needed to take responsibility for managing client service.
Reasons: With a technical focus and expertise in their area, the supervisors at Altim provide solutions to clients everyday; however their approach was more product focused than client-focused. No sales or service training had been provided at the business as the owner has strong client management skills. Yet customer loyalty remains an issue as the owner cannot have the relationship with every client.
Capabilities needed: Consultation expertise to interpret the new business plan of Altim and coach the owner of the business to develop a sales and service development plan. Delivery of supervisor development programs for sales, service and client development in addition to managing other staff service approach. Ability to be relevant at a shop level with the Altim staff and management.
We provided: Initial consulting sessions with the owner of Altim as well as a review of the new business plan as it related to developing increased customer loyalty. Tailored short and sharp sales and service workshops with the company supervisors; these were followed supervisor workshops to manage client development. Review with business owner and provided consulting and coaching support to implement business plan action steps.
Result: Staff and supervisors reacted very positively to workshops and started immediately to use the techniques. The owner’s solution selling skills were highlighted and his role expanded in the client development area instead of business operations. A recommitment to excellent service, a new customer loyalty program and up-selling clients with additional products and services of Altim.