OEE Consulting is a fast growing consultancy specialising in operations management, especially in service environments. It is a highly respected organisation, advising the largest players in UK banking & insurance on significant parts of their operations, as well as other major clients in the UK and overseas. OEE Consulting has close links with UK Universities and is a sought after destination for MBA students looking to move into consulting.
OEE has grown organically, mainly by recommendation and quality of projects delivered. Consultants working on the projects are specialists in their areas, and had not received any form of business development training historically. Added to this, while the sales organisation had installed some excellent business development practices, it was fragmented.
Senior management was very keen to build an organisation that could grow into the future, in a demanding business development arena: Consultants have to sell at the highest level in their accounts, which meant being effective in front of top level directors.
The first challenge then was to diagnose what was working and should be kept, and then identify gaps that needed to be addressed, so the whole team used a joined-up, consistent and effective business development approach.
Selling Interactions began by deploying its sales DNA and on-line sales excellence diagnostic ©: A research backed set of 105 sales best practice questions, covering key themes such as account planning, sales process, coaching and training and sales force automation among others.
The output of the diagnostic was used to lead semi-structured interviews with all the key business development staff to follow up on specific areas.
What emerged was a varied view among consultants concerning what business development meant at OEE. Furthermore, the commonly understood sales process was based on one which was used to set up the CRM system, and so did not reflect the important nuances of complex B2B sales.
The first job therefore was to create a highly specific sales process for OEE, which carefully codified best practice in their sales environment. This was done with the senior account directors to benefit from their experience and align everyone going forward. This served to create common understanding of the typical activities required to win business repeatedly. The sales process was then used to derive a set of behaviours which could be used for self-development and on the job coaching.
1:1’s were held with the senior business development staff to help them create personal action plans related to the competencies, and short interactive meetings with the team were held to aid understanding and implementation of the sales process.
With a commonly held understanding of what makes for best practice business development in their sales environment, OEE Consulting now has a solid coaching platform to guide behaviour. New staff can be quickly introduced to the approach, and existing staff have checklists to help them prepare for key meetings, so they can implement the approach on a day to day basis.
The initial work was carried out in 2013 and since then, OEE has grown by 15% year on year.
Because of the highly specific and customised sales process, there has not been an “allergic reaction” to it which can happen when external consultancies introduce sales methodologies. The process was created “by the people of the people”.
OEE is now in the process of implementing the sales process through everyday behaviour. After all, excellence comes from everyday application of best practice. This means using the sales process to guide opportunity management, to prepare for client meetings, and using the behaviours to continually develop.
“Business development had always been an Achilles heel for OEE. We wanted to build a sales process that blends both the political and emotional aspects of selling.”
“OEE had a very good experience with Selling Interactions. We were delighted. Anderson established his credibility instantly, listened and created the right impression right from the start.”
“The benefits? We realised what we were doing was massively inconsistent. We have now been able to agree on what good looks like. We are not universally applying “good” all the time but we have most definitely improved.”
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