GHP October 2015

ghp October 2015 | 11 industry insight Before that programme, product collateral was mainly focused on technical features. Afterwards, the market- ing team was able to create brochures, presentations and web content that had a narrative which still in- corporated technical information but also highlighted the value of the Urgo Medical solution and the healing outcome benefits for patients and health professionals alike. This highlighted the clinical and personal gains that a better solution could bring. Nonetheless, the behavioural and commercial improvement isn’t down to the training phase alone. Coaching is crucial to making sure that the post-train- ing behaviour change is sustained. If a company decides to make a significant invest- ment in training the sales team, it’s imperative to give people the opportunity to practise the new techniques consistently. They also need to understand why the new approach is better and more efficient than what they used to do before Huthwaite International was involved. Coaching is an essential part of sustaining behav- iour change. Coaching sessions should not be an information exchange but instead should focus on the ‘coachee’ identifying for themselves the actions that will enable them to achieve the goals they have set. This type of transformational coaching can have a real impact on performance and bring about sustained behaviour change. That’s why coaching is also a skill that needs to be properly taught. As Farida Sollitt, Urgo Medical UK Training Manager said when evaluating the early impact of the project: “As the sales team gradually gains confidence in the use of SPIN ® we are starting to see a positive change in the call quality and also in engagement from the customer. The desire of the sales person to rush in and excitedly talk ‘product’ before understanding and acknowledging the real problems and needs of our customer is now something we see less of....a change is definitely taking place.” These changes flagged by Farida soon started to impact the whole business and Robin Nicholson, Marketing Manager, Urgo Medical UK remarked: “The SPIN ® programme has helped us review the way we were briefing agencies, producing marketing collateral and delivering public messages. It has given the entire UK business a sales infrastructure we’ve never had. Now the ‘users and choosers’ of products like ours are amenable to new ideas if we can be clear about their core benefits and long term advantages. This has helped us to be persuasive in all custom- er-facing parts of the business.” And ultimately, Justin Cole, Managing Director, Urgo Medical noticed: “Huthwaite are cautious about over-claiming revenue and profit outcomes, because their key measure is the behaviour change; so maybe it’s for Urgo Medical to declare the bottom-line impact. Well, from where I sit, the best SPIN ® practitioners we have here are the people producing the best sales results, in terms of bigger deals, more orders and satisfied customers.” The proof is in the numbers. Urgo Medical’s sales team started to get bigger deals, more orders and cus- tomer satisfaction improved significantly. By the end of 2014, the company saw its sales rate grow by 19.6% and so far, in 2015, they have already registered a 15% rise in sales compared to the previous year. What we should take from Urgo Medical’s example is that if a company invests in its sales people, chooses the right training model and then carefully measures and evaluates the results, they can successfully navi- gate even one of the most challenging markets. About the author: Tony Hughes is CEO of Huthwaite International best known as the creator of SPIN ® Selling – helping sales- people in all countries and most languages to improve their performance. It has a client list of 1,000s of companies worldwide and trains some 14,000 people each year. Besides the SPIN ® Suite, Huthwaite Inter- national offers training and reinforcement based on its own original research models in negotiation skills, communication skills, customer service skills. www. [email protected] +44 (0)1709 710081 Twitter = @Huthwaite_Intl