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What do you do when your sales model no longer works?

Your marketplace is changing in fundamental ways. Your customer’s business model has changed.  The decision makers have changed.  Not surprisingly, the sales model that you and your competitors have relied on for decades is no longer delivering the results you need.  You aren’t sure that you even need a sales force anymore.  But there are pockets of success in your organization.

What do you do?

One major pharmaceutical company reached out to Blueline Simulations to help revamp their sales model to better meet evolving market conditions and customer expectations. Building on the company’s market research that showed clearly that most customers still value pharmaceutical sales reps, but don’t value the industry’s standard sales approach, we used our Voice of the Business (VoB) process to identify what was needed in a new sales model.

Using our VoB process, we culled our client’s research for insights, and identified best practices in existing pockets of success. Then, drawing upon our decades of sales training experience, together with our client, we mapped out a new customer-focused sales model, defined the core skills and competencies required to execute the new model, and identified key triggers we could use to engage and inspire the representatives.

Of course, designing a new sales model is only the start. The real key to results is driving adoption in the field. The company had already designated three states to use to test the new customer approach and we helped them create a roll-out strategy for testing the new model. The training design utilized a custom Blueline Blueprint as a central element in a 3-day meeting in which representatives were introduced to the new sales model. We used the Blueprint Learning Visual as a launch point for a broad range of practice and coaching activities led by sales managers – to provide practice, and allow time for concerns and questions to be explored.

The six-month test in the three states proved very successful. Based on learnings from the initial pilot, the sales model was further refined and then rolled out across the US and eventually, with adjustments for local markets, applied across the globe.

Is your market rapidly shifting? Are your customers’ expectations changing significantly? Is your historically successful sales model no longer getting the results you need?

What do you do?  Give Blueline a call and we’ll help you explore possible solutions to get you back on track to the results you are looking for.

Get Alignment Upfront

Training doesn’t happen in a vacuum, the success of a training program depends on more than just a good design. Stakeholder commitment and buy-in is critical. Many a well-designed program rests on the dust heap of organizational training because it turned out a critical stakeholder wasn’t onboard. Ensuring stakeholder buy-in is even more vital when a training program is part of an organizational change effort.

Over the last several years we have refined a process that we refer to as Blueline’s Voice of the Business Process.  We utilize this approach in our data gathering on new projects rather than just onsite meetings with subject matter experts. It has allowed us to not only gain deeper insights into learner needs and content, but also create greater commitment and buy-in across a broad range of stakeholders.

At the core of our Voice of the Business Process, are one-on-one phone interviews with a broad representative sample of all key stakeholder groups. These interviews represent a small time investment of typically 45-60 minutes for the stakeholder. It also allows us to get input from a greater number of people than with a typical on-site data gathering session.

We then analyze these interviews for key themes, needs and insights, and prepare a findings/recommendations report. We’ve found that we typically uncover new needs or areas of concern that dramatically impact the training or communication design.

Recently, we were called in to develop training to “help users embrace” a recently implemented software system. The current assessment was that people didn’t understand the system’s capabilities or how it could make their life easier. This new system affected several different functions and departments and changed how they shared information. We recommended that we start the engagement with our Voice of the Business Process.

Through the process of conducting over 50 interviews, it became clear that “understanding how to use the software” was not the greatest need. People didn’t have a clear understanding of the business process that they were engaged in. Everyone we spoke to was dedicated, hard working, and committed to the organization’s success, but they were each limited by a narrow view of their work.

This along with some other themes uncovered during the Voice of the Business Process led the project leaders and us to conclude that a very different approach than what they had originally imagined was needed. The ultimate solution leveraged a Blueline Blueprint™ to provide a big picture understanding of the business needs and the roles various functions played in the process, along with just-in-time video tutorials on the software functions to provide the needs skills.

While one department sponsored and initially championed the training initiative, the use of the Voice of the Business Process enabled stakeholders across many functions to take ownership for the ultimate solution. In fact, the largest initial rollout of the training was by one of those other departments at their annual off-site meeting. Want to learn how Blueline’s Voice of the Business Process can help us to drive results at your company? Give us a call.

What if You Could Bring the Collective Wisdom of the Organization Together to Jump Start Critical Initiatives?

Each of us sees the world through our own lens. That is, we interpret data, events, and other intangibles of our organizational experiences through unique mental models made up of our closely held beliefs, and assumptions. This can make it all but impossible to honestly evaluate the organization – or to generate fresh insights in response to organizational challenges.

At Blueline Simulations, we help our clients to overcome this every day through our Voice of the Business Process – a comprehensive series of dialogues that encourage leaders in the organization to articulate and examine the beliefs they individually hold about the work, about the culture, about key strategies and change initiatives, and more.

It is, at times, a profound experience.

At the heart of the Voice of the Business Process, Blueline’s learning experts (who are, by necessity, external to the client environment) conduct dozens of expertly facilitated interviews with key executives on a strategic topic of the clients’ choosing.

In these penetrating dialogues, leaders are invited to speak in an unguarded way about their mental models – the insights, perceptions, beliefs, assumptions, and even emotions they hold– about a critical organizational challenge.

This is remarkable from the participants’ point of view. Many confess that they have never had the opportunity to reflect so thoroughly on the initiative in question.

The outcomes are remarkable, too, from the sponsor’s point of view. After the Blueline team is finished collating, dissecting and synthesizing all these unique perspectives, we share them with the interviewees through a series of facilitated group discussions.  What happens during these discussions is quite spectacular. Insights emerge.

And the best part is that they’re not our insights – they’re yours.  We’ve just created a forum for your people to view the organization and its challenges through a different lens.  So by the time we’re done, everyone has already bought into the action plan.

We’d love to tell you more about Blueline’s Voice of the Business Process offering, and explore how this disciplined process might jump start your most critical initiatives. Call us today.