When his sales team at SAP UK and Ireland had to adapt to a fully virtual way of working in a global pandemic, Rob decided to invest in our training to elevate how they engaged with their customers. He already sees not just a huge shift in their confidence, but in their results for the organisation.
Why did you decide to invest in our training?
Under the constraints of the global pandemic, Rob’s Services team at SAP were forced to adapt their roles into an online format – meaning 90% of interactions were now via video. He explains that with these challenges, he was eager to “remove any barriers to effective selling”
so they had the support and skills to succeed.
Having previously completed our Mastering Communication training himself virtually with other SAP General Managers in Services, Rob knew the value we would provide his team. “My experience with The Colin James Method® training was that it was an extremely effective online video method, so I knew it worked.”
After a below average sales performance from his team the year before, Rob wanted to develop the maturity of his team and invest in their capabilities to support success.
His goal was to “give them confidence that A) we’re investing in them and B) that they could deliver an effective value proposition every time.”
How would you describe the learning experience?
Rob sponsored his team of 12 to do our Mastering The Pitch program, which was delivered as 3 x 4-hour virtual training sessions. As well as some online pre, intersessional and post training modules.
“It’s flipcharts, it’s stories, it’s interactive. There’s breakouts and you work together on helping refine each other’s presentations, stories and communications as well, and I was surprised how quickly the sessions went.”
Our training methodology is designed to keep users engaged and energised throughout the sessions – even in a virtual setting. We use a broad range of tools, activities and specialised facilitators to provide a world-class learning experience that keeps attendees engaged and focussed.
“The execution of the training and the pre-work and the communications around it for me, was flawless.”
What results have you seen since the program?
“Our team’s performance last year was suboptimal. This year it is much better.”
The core focus from the training we delivered with Rob’s sales team was focussed on two things: Demand Generation and Sales – both of which have improved greatly.
He explains their pipeline has steadily increased since the team took the training and they’ve also doubled their sales year on year. A huge transformation from where they were when he took over.
“We have internal leaderboards around the region, I don’t mind telling you we were at the bottom, we’re now moving up the leaderboard. We’re in mid-place at the moment but we’re gunning for the top.”
Rob says the evidence is clear, the impact our training has had for his sales team and the wider organisation is significant.
“We’ve seen the results in the business and I feel confident that this has had a significant impact on those results because of the maturity and the levelling up of the capability of the team that it’s provided.”
Which elements have been the most helpful?
Building a strong foundation when preparing for any communication is key, which is why the structure of our methodology has been so valuable to Rob and his team. It helped to ingrain a reliable structure that ensures they’ve deeply considered their audience, their needs and how to make their message relevant to them.
“Number 1 was structure. Really looking at things from your audience’s perspective. What do you want them to feel, think, do and then commit to?”
Second to structure, our signature PAVERS® method was another high value learning. Training his team to understand how to use their body, voice, and energy to be more engaging when they communicate, especially when pitching to clients via videoconference.
“There’s so many tools and tricks within this training that really help to make your presentation super effective.”
Finally, Rob describes the significance of our ‘Nailing The Opening’ component. This is designed to ensure you always have the right steps in place to open strong when you present, and captivate your audience immediately. There are a number of reasons people can be tempted to tune out or disengage at the beginning of a presentation, so we’ve carefully researched and designed a step-by-step approach to avoid this and ensure you nail it every time.
“It ties all the other parts together. You start strong by grabbing the attention of the audience and their interests, you create relevance for them and for yourself and why they need to know this, and only then do you introduce your topic properly.”
“Then you manage the fears, the objections and the doubts in the audience, and only then do you introduce yourself because you’ve earned the right to say “I know what I’m talking about, I know the subject area and this is my name.”
Have you seen a difference in your sales team’s communication skills?
After the training, Rob explains his Sales team had to prepare and present a pitch to the leadership team so they could practice and embed their new skills. This was also a great opportunity for the leaders to see how the learnings were being applied and the progress the training had supported.
“It was impressive to see the step change in their confidence. The relevance and empathy they then showed for their customer. It really got them thinking about their customer’s perspective.”
Who would you recommend this training to?
Rob not only sees the value this training provides to business leaders, he also recognises further potential for people such as students, teachers, or lecturers – anyone in a role where communication is important.
“It allows you to unlock your potential and get out what’s inside you in terms of the messages that you want to convey.”