PIP consultants have achieved success in improving Sales Force Effectiveness for many clients in a range of industries: from mining consumables and telecommunications to equipment hire, building products, media, and agricultural services. While we like to ensure the Go-to-market strategy and enablers are appropriate, the biggest results and improvements actually come from changing behaviours at the frontline. This is the key to PIP's wiring approach and ensures we deliver rapid bottom line results. 

Our approach starts by leading detailed workshops with our client that define a clear Go-to-market and Sales Strategy. This strategy:

  • Identifies and defines buyer segments and defines the winning value proposition for each segment.
  • Identifies the role of a sales force in delivering the value proposition for each segment.
  • Sets clear account plans for major accounts so as to align with the segment value proposition.

Based on the Go-to-market and Sales Strategy, our consultants work with clients to ensure that they have in place the four enablers of a high-performing sales force. These enablers are:

  • Coverage and structure. Are the right people on the right job and does the organisation align with the buyer segments so that I have the right balance of resources? How does the sales team spend their time?
  • Skills and processes. Does the sales team have the right competencies? Is there a clear plan in place to develop these competencies through training and coaching to unleash each person’s potential?
  • Motivation and incentives. Is good performance recognised and poor performance addressed? Are both of these reflected in an effective incentive system for performance?
  • Systems and tools. Are sales and reporting systems in place and used effectively to track performance? We focus on getting the most out of existing platforms and avoid, wherever possible, system changes and developments that are potentially slow to make. In terms of such things as marketing, customer service and logistics, does the organisation support the sales team effectively?

The last element of our approach and is an area that our clients often struggle with but is often where the greatest results are delivered. This is having the right performance improvement management tools in place to execute this strategy, drive performance improvements and drive a culture of accountability. We work with our clients to introduce highly structured, regular reviews that are cascaded throughout a sales force and become the drumbeat by which the organisation works. These are focused on the key value drivers to increase earnings and the input and output Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) around these levers. The reviews are highly coached and ensure a sales team is not only clearly aligned with its priorities and targets but also drives accountability for results by reporting performance against these targets. This ensures that day-in, day-out functioning of the sales force is structured and focused on selling along the key levers to deliver bottom line results.
 
With PIP’s help, front-line sales teams will come to understand how to achieve these targets. We will coach them to build their sales skills, help them to improve their sales call efficiency, and help them to find ways to optimise their travel time. Our hands-on approach is rewarding for those in the front line and makes a real difference from the bottom up.

Examples of our client’s results

  • Increased sales by 10% from the first to the second half of the year at a mining consumables company
  • Increased earnings per employee by 13% in revenue, and 21% in gross margin, resulting in an additional $16m in EBIT
  • Delivered $2m EBIT in 8 weeks, and identified a further $2m to be captured by rollout of the sales force improvements at a furniture manufacturer
  • Identified an additional $10m in EBIT through sales force improvements at an explosives manufacturer

Thank you for a really professional job. I am delighted at where we are today, which would not have been possible without [PIP's] assistance.

Michelle Beetar