Sales Training Case Study: A Deeper Understanding of Customer Needs Fosters Differentiation that Earns Sales
As an investment management company Oppenheimer Funds faces a crowded industry. With this crowding comes commoditization. More managers are offering the same products. It became clear that setting the business apart from the rest meant offering customers a better experience through a consultative approach. This deeper engagement style was needed not only to form a better understanding of needs but also to develop much-needed trust from customers. Making this change “stick” would also require that managers become more effective coaches to help disseminate consultative practices. Reaching these goals would mean gaining broad-based buy-in, leveraging existing technology and engaging a diverse field of Senior Advisor Consultants, Advisor Consultants and Divisional Managers. Oppenheimer partnered with Richardson to develop workshops enabling leaders to position their change story in a way that compelled direct reports to commit to the transformation.
Participants demonstrated a 60% improvement in “Strategic Dialogue.”
Trainees exhibited a 23% increase in follow up skills critical to closing the sale.
After training participants exhibited a 17% increase in the skills required to gain access and build trust.
“The customization for our field force was critical, and it is something we will take into our L&D organization and sustain as we continue to move the needle from wholesaler to consultant.”
SVP, Director of Internal Sales & Learning and Development
To deliver a customized training solution Richardson interviewed senior leaders. The goal was to develop an understanding of how to transition from a wholesaler to a trusted strategic advisor. Richardson then developed workshops enabling leaders to position their change story in a way that compels direct reports to commit to the transformation. Additionally, leaders learned to ask adoption questions to determine how and if behaviors were in fact changing. Oppenheimer Funds and Richardson understood that stated a need for change would not be enough. Rather, leaders need to articulate why change is necessary and how an individual’s goals connect to broad company objectives. Finally, leaders learned the value of follow through as they measured the pace of change and opportunities to verify progress on an ongoing basis.