Activating consistent, value-based selling across continents
Maximus International has a seven-year relationship with international materials solutions company Sibelco Group. After designing and delivering multiple programs in Australia, we have evolved into Sibelco’s global development partner as they challenge people to operate differently under the company’s 2020 Vision transformation strategy.
So far, we have designed and delivered leadership and management programs in Europe, South America, and Australia, and supported program delivery in North America and Asia.
In 2016, Sibelco engaged us to oversee the development and delivery of the Sibelco Sales Platform. This forms part of the global Commercial Excellence (CommEx) initiative, which is reshaping the company’s entire approach to the market by embedding a robust, consistent sales methodology built around customer value.
Sibelco decided to fast-track Europe, where the regional sales teams had already done some work on value-based selling. As its sales teams were heading into a period of intense customer negotiations resulting from a new pricing strategy, Sibelco Europe identified the most important module as Sales Execution and Negotiation.
“In honesty, one of the best programs I have attended, making us think more and differently.”
-Sibelco Group participant
Following a thorough needs analysis, we designed a two-day Execution and Negotiation module that was fully aligned with the new Sibelco sales methodology.
The intention was to empower sales managers to develop a more disciplined and creative approach to sales execution and negotiating that matched the increasing market complexity and customer sophistication.
The program was highly interactive and applied, involving on-stage demonstrations and opportunities to workshop common negotiating situations. Participants were introduced to practical tools and techniques such as profiling customers, creating battle cards, identifying buyer styles and navigating customer concerns. The overall focus was using deep customer insights to drive value-driven negotiation.
The participants had widely varying cultural and professional backgrounds, with diverse customers, products, and value drivers. We took a consistent approach that supported the CommEx initiative’s objectives, while considering regional needs, including the use of some local facilitators.
We piloted the module in Belgium then rolled it out to seven other European countries.
Over two months, the program was delivered to 120 European sales managers. At end of the learning experience, participants had the skills, confidence and tools to come up with and apply creative, effective strategies in the upcoming sales negotiations.
In feedback, an average of 90% of participants said they felt better prepared for their negotiations and 86% said the program had given them more confidence.
Post-program, we supported participants with one on one sessions to practice negotiations and provided coaching toolkits and agendas so they could embed the skills and mindset into their teams. We also began an ROI program to measure how much the training impacted the year’s negotiations.
In 2017, we delivered the program in North America on a larger scale as part of Sibelco’s plan for a global roll-out. Australia and Asia are next, and each region’s specific needs are being assessed to ensure the program aligns with the global sales approach while addressing regional challenges.
“I will now prepare better for my upcoming negotiations, not only in collecting numbers and facts, but spending time on building the customer profile and preparing questions for handling objections.”
-Sibelco Group participant