BT Local Business Wolverhampton serves BT Group’s small and medium businesses in the Wolverhampton area.
Its customers range from small single-line businesses to large, complex multi-site organisations such as Further Education Colleges. Unlike many of BT’s other Local Businesses which have been operating for up to ten years, the Wolverhampton operation is new and has been selling from a standing start in 2011.
Managing Director Phil Purssey had a small well-established sales team which was simply not achieving the targets he set for them. "Sales results are nowhere near where they need to be," he told sales-mind. Few sales people were earning commission on top of their basic salary and the business was consistently towards the lower end of the performance league table of BT Local Businesses.
Phil Purssey initiated a three-pronged transformation strategy. The first of these was to recruit a new sales manager with the right background, level of managerial experience and personal impact; the second of these was to make changes to the payplan that offered a greater reward for accelerated sales performance; the third was to engage sales-mind.
As part of the discovery process that informed design of the programme, the sales-mind team interviewed members of the sales team, listened to outbound phone calls at the desk and accompanied a field sales executive on a visit. The team concluded that there was an opportunity to improve activity levels by addressing the sales team's mindset with particular emphasis on personal responsibility, focus, resilience and motivation.
The sales-mind team delivered a two-day kick-off sales training workshop giving the team powerful insights into their own mindset and their natural reactions to adversity. They were equipped with effective tools to manage rejection in selling and to maximise effective activity. sales-mind also facilitated the creation of a bottom-up set of values owned by the team. It also invited the team to "buzz up" the office.
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In June 2013, the business collated sales data for the previous nine months of which the last two were after the two-day workshop.
Average monthly sales revenue for the two-month period after the kick-off workshop was 71 % higher than the average for the preceding seven months; the size of the sales team did not vary by more than one person throughout the nine-month period. The results should be seen in the context of employee turnover that saw a number of new joiners come and go as is the case with most BT Local Businesses. While the data shows positive outcomes for long-standing team members, it also suggests that the programme was a challenge as one team member left shortly after the workshop.
Data for the four team members that were part of the business for all nine months is also compelling. When comparing average sales revenue for the two months after commencement of the programme with the average for the prior seven months, there is a growth rate ranging from 55% to 171 %. It should be acknowledged that the higher number for one of the field executives is slightly distorted by one large sale. In order to fulfil his ambitions for the business, Phil is recruiting additional sales people that can consistently perform to the same level.
Average Monthly Sales Revenue
From Phil Purssey's perspective, the sales-mind programme was an impactful part of his transformation strategy:
"The team members found the programme's subject matter inspiring in a way I could not have envisaged. It brought a new language to the sales floor. Importantly they applied it to their work. The result has been a dramatic increase in sales performance over a number of different metrics, moving us to the top quartile in the channel's league table."
From the view of the delegate, the sales-mind programme was refreshingly different and more "sticky" than anything they had experienced. "The sales-mind programme has helped me focus on the key tasks that drive results and has given me powerful tools to keep up my work-rate," says desk agent Asha Sharma whose average monthly sales performance has increased 97%. "For the last two months I have bust my target and I am full of confidence that I can sustain this."