Case study: Training to transform the sales mindset
Sales is a challenge at any time, but the last few years have certainly thrown up plenty of obstacles. As such, it is more important than ever to have a sales team that works efficiently and has a strong relationship with clients old and new.
Energy company Socomec recognised this when they decided to help their Key Account Managers (KAMs) raise their game, so they could perform well and play their part in growing the company.
“We had to develop and improve some of the processes and tools for our key account managers due to the increasing demands of a key account. As such, we needed to upskill our key account managers and develop a positive team spirit,” says Christophe Alvarez, Learning Project Manager at Socomec Group.
Socomec leaders wanted to encourage a common sales culture and language as well as a synergy among the different global KAMs. They also wanted to harmonise sales practices across the company.
Socomec operates across the globe, with offices in five continents. The plan was to create a training program that provides all the resources a key account manager needs to sell successfully in a rapidly changing business environment.
On top of that, they wanted to foster a collegiate spirit. This would enable KAMs to share advice and experience.
The challenging economic climate of the last few years meant the demands of customers had changed, too. Budgets had become tighter, so customers wanted lower prices. They also wanted more value for money.
“The objective was to change our approach to sales, to present ourselves as partners, not just as customer and supplier,” says Christophe. “We also had to change the mindset of our sales teams, so they became more entrepreneurial.”
The sales training solution
Socomec commissioned Cegos to design and deliver the ‘Key Account Manager Training Program’. It would be rolled out to 120 KAMs working at regional and local level across the world.
The program consisted of virtual classes as well as face-to-face workshops located in seven locations (London, Benfeld, Paris, Watertown, Dubai, Singapore and New Delhi) so that all participants could access the training easily.
Having the chance to meet in person after so long certainly helped build the team spirit and morale!
As part of the program, key account managers attended masterclasses on various topics, including:
- negotiation skills
- presenting a vision
- building a networking plan
- selling across cultures
- working in a virtual environment
Participants engaged in lots of discussion and role-play. This gave them confidence to deal with the most difficult challenges, such as presenting an increase in prices amidst the difficult economic climate.
Improved collaboration with the clients and among sales teams
The program was rolled out globally throughout 2022 and in the first half of 2023. The feedback, so far, has been excellent.
“Key account managers have definitely improved relationships internally and some of them have already applied successfully what they learnt in the field,” says Christophe. “They feel better equipped to deal with all the changes, too.”
Although 90 KAMs were originally scheduled to attend the training, it proved so popular that 30 of their managers have since taken up the program.
“The key account managers really appreciated the experience,” says Christophe. “All participants say the training is useful for them and they are using it every day. Some are already asking what the next training will be.”
Should you wish to find out how Cegos can help you upskill your sales teams and change their mindset, contact us.