Competitive Selling by Mercuri International

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Competitive Selling is an innovative, highly effective development process developed by Mercuri
International that has proven itself over recent years in environments as diverse as personal investment,
precision engineering and emergency healthcare.

Competitive Selling will give you an immensely clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses of your
sales and leadership resources.

You will get a clear picture of their selling and relationship management skills.

It makes for excellent leadership training, sharpens old hands and is outstanding for enthusiastic new starts.

It is based on a number of recognitions:
 That people learn by seeing and doing, rather than purely from absorbing theories.
 Adults learn best when they can see an immediate application.
 There are usually a number of effective ways of achieving a result, not just one panacea.
 Competition usually intensifies learning.
 The learning must be relevant and realistic.

 While there may be a core learning objective, there can be a wide range of spin-offs.

 From a business point of view, the learning must derive from specific business goals rather than a
vague desire to “do things better”.

 The outcomes should be measurable in terms of changed understanding, changed behaviour and
changed result.
 The process should be stimulating and fun.

Methodology
Competitive Selling is a highly flexible learning and development tool. The core of the approach is a
highly realistic business simulation in which teams of sales people compete for victory.

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Competitive Selling by Mercuri International

  1. 1. AN INTRODUCTION TO COMPETITIVE SELLING MERCURI INTERNATIONAL UK LTD
  2. 2. What is Competitive Selling? page 2 What is Competitive Selling? Competitive Selling is an innovative, highly effective development process developed by Mercuri International that has proven itself over recent years in environments as diverse as personal investment, precision engineering and emergency healthcare. Competitive Selling will give you an immensely clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses of your sales and leadership resources. You will get a clear picture of their selling and relationship management skills. It makes for excellent leadership training, sharpens old hands and is outstanding for enthusiastic new starts. It is based on a number of recognitions: That people learn by seeing and doing, rather than purely from absorbing theories. Adults learn best when they can see an immediate application. There are usually a number of effective ways of achieving a result, not just one panacea. Competition usually intensifies learning. The learning must be relevant and realistic. While there may be a core learning objective, there can be a wide range of spin-offs. From a business point of view, the learning must derive from specific business goals rather than a vague desire to “do things better”. The outcomes should be measurable in terms of changed understanding, changed behaviour and changed result. The process should be stimulating and fun. Methodology Competitive Selling is a highly flexible learning and development tool. The core of the approach is a highly realistic business simulation in which teams of sales people compete for victory. It is perfectly possible to bolt other elements onto the core process (these have included pre-competition training sessions and major business planning exercises) but the crucial elements are: 1) Confirm the business goal – this could be behavioural - “get the sales force back on the front foot” or results-focused - “we want to be a top three supplier in this market sector”. The goal should be specific and linked to the client’s strategy, but there may be a number of subsidiary goals. 2) Create a realistic simulation - Mercuri will work with you to create accurate case study and a number of business scenarios. The case study will be designed to meet the confirmed business goal and may take participants from an initial contact (e.g. three companies have merged and are looking to rationalise their supplier relationships) through early stages of contact, relationship building and needs identification to final presentations and negotiation. It is essential that the business requirement could be addressed in a number of ways as part of the simulation should involve the design of the solution.
  3. 3. What is Competitive Selling? page 3 3) Issue clear briefing notes before the event - these will include clear guidelines on skills, best-practice etc. Briefing notes can be supported by relevant eLearning modules that develop knowledge and understanding of the skills required during the simulation 4) Run the competition. The make-up of the teams will require careful thought (experience, roles etc.) to maximise the learning opportunity. A good approach is to have a team leader (perhaps a new manager), a new sales person and technical experts etc. For part of the time the Mercuri and the client team are “jackets-off” as supportive coaches and advisors. For part of the time they are “jackets-on” in role as purchasers of the product or service. Typically the Mercuri consultant acts as the non-specialist commercial person while an internal person acts as the technical buyer. A Competitive Selling event can be run over a number of days, but a typical 2¼ day session might look like this: On the evening before the event starts there will be a briefing in which a sales lead, an RFP or something similar will be given to the teams. Most of day one will then be spent in identifying and confirming the client’s requirements, in building relationships and beginning to form the proposed solution. Part of this time will be spent face-to-face with the client, part in preparation. The day will include individual and group coaching sessions, plenary feedback, the capture of best practice and key learning points Day two involves presentations and negotiations based on the information gathered and relationships built on day one. The day and the event culminates in a plenary debrief session and the announcement of the winning team based on a set of pre-agreed criteria. Competitive Selling can also be designed as a series of events or competitive rounds that lead to a final event. 5) It has proved very important to have a feedback session shortly after the event. This could be team based or could be held in regional centres. As a minimum, coaches and managers should meet to discuss their observations during the event and agree next steps/actions. 6) A key element of the project will be to ensure implementation and to measure the outcome. This can be done using a range of techniques. Measurement should form an integral part of the planning. Implementation can be supported by e-mail reminders, telephone support and other approaches. It is crucial that the learning is quickly woven into the day-to-day job. We would recommend that a manual (paper or electronic) or video of best practice is produced during the project. These tools can then be used as coaching tools by managers at future events.
  4. 4. What is Competitive Selling? page 4 The following two examples demonstrate changes in result measured by two financial institutions following Mercuri International Competitive Selling projects. While such changes are not always so transparently measurable the examples indicate just what our approach can achieve. The first instance involved a new value added approach designed to move relationships from a product (and price-sensitive) basis to a situation where the client saw their relationship manager as an integral part of their business success. A senior manager commented: “Thought you would like some feedback now that I have finished my debriefs with the team. "Overwhelmingly a success". " The best course I have ever been on " - to quote just a few. Many thanks to you & your team for all your hard work & effort. I have rarely seen people so motivated & "on a high" after a training course!!!! As mentioned I would very much like to put all our RMs & BDMs through the course but I know that only a certain number have been arranged. This is a course that will produce better performance quickly, allow individuals to recognise performance improvements, sharpen & improve good performance & build on team-work to achieve results. I don't know if you started out with these objectives but you certainly went a long way to achieve them.” 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 £1,280 £1,300 £1,320 £1,340 £1,360 £1,380 £1,400 £1,420 £1,440 £1,460 Net growth in accts Quarterly Revenue from customer base £Mn Training starts “We have written more business in the quarter following the event than we did in the previous four quarters combined. Of course this is partly due to the many things we were doing ourselves, but there is no doubt in my mind that the training has contributed to this success” Senior Manager Customer Marketing
  5. 5. What is Competitive Selling? page 5 The second example demonstrates year-on-year growth from a group of intermediaries following intensive development of the account teams. The growth is compared with a control group. We were also able measure the underlying behavioural changes such as number of presentations made to intermediaries, rehearsal time allowed for each presentation, number of sales calls made etc. The training was seen as highly motivational with comments such as: “The best leadership training I could have” (note that this was really relationship management and sales training but team leaders benefited hugely) “I went into it thinking “here we go again”, but whew! I’ve never seen enthusiasm like it”. “I’ve never been up so late and so sober” Competitive Selling is a powerful approach that is highly motivational and can generate significant and immediate return on investment. £0 £100,000 £200,000 £300,000 £400,000 £500,000 £600,000 £700,000 £800,000 A B C D E F G H I J K L Q1,2 YR1 Q1,2 YR2 Control Group saw 25% Yr on Yr growth Trained Group saw 102% Yr on Yr growth

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