An Unparalleled Suite of Solutions

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With AchieveGlobal now housed within the Miller Heiman Group we are more and more able to offer separate insight and expertise in the areas of Sales & Service and Leadership & Management. The above diagram is a taste of what we can offer in terms of sales and service and we are similarly realigning our leadership and management offer too.

B2B selling has undoubtedly changed and evolved over the years, as has customer culture and activity. Customers carry out their own research, informing themselves on your products and services before they have even spoken to a sales professional. They know what they want and who has what to offer. All with the click of a mouse.

Leading and managing against this background is also becoming more demanding, requiring the highest levels of leadership ability and an ability to drive performance from a diverse range of people and teams.

This can be daunting for organizations. Especially when levels of competition are constantly and rapidly increasing, within every market.

Fortunately, these are all things we can help you with! Drawing on our separate brands of AchieveGlobal and Miller Heiman, we will make your organization stand out amongst the rest.

We will feature much more of the detail around all of this in future posts, but please do reach out to us directly if you have any immediate questions.

Training and Development: Strengthen your Service

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Image Courtesy of Google Images & Hok.com

When I first started to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia about six years ago, it was common place to be stuck at passport control / immigration in Jeddah, Riyadh or Dammam for as long as four hours (two on a good day), and when you tend to arrive on a flight after 10pm, that really didn’t set you up for the next day of client meetings.

Other than the seemingly endless queues, a traveller had to contend with staff at the airport who did little to ingratiate themselves, and generally made entry into the Kingdom a challenging experience.

Over the last 18 months I’ve seen huge changes in the attitude of the team at the airports of entry and the immigration clearing process. On my flight in from Doha last week, it was only 25 minutes from the plane doors opening to me walking out with my luggage: as good as anywhere I’ve travelled in the world.

I’ve made some enquiries as to what has driven this change and, maybe unsurprisingly it’s down to training, and the development of the people at the front end of immigration control. Not only that, but the Immigration’s team understanding of why they needed to change, how they could improve people’s first impression of the country and how they could measure their results.

I’m a great believer in having people take responsibility for their actions and the adage, ‘make people understand why, and they’ll figure out how’.

It would have been easy for them to attend the training program, get a certificate, put it on their wall, update their LinkedIn profile, and then go back to work and change nothing. The real step change has come about by ensuring delegates understand the why, and the change is clearly measurable.

It’s great to see training and development paying dividends like this, benefiting the individual, the organization and in this case the impression of the country for future first-time visitors.

At AchieveGlobal Middle East, we work to the same principals – getting buy in, having people take ownership and measuring results. If you’d like to discuss how we can assist you in developing improved outputs from your sales, service or leadership teams please contact me!

John

 

 

Let us reintroduce ourselves…

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We have some very exciting news to share with you all – AchieveGlobal Middle East is now part of the Miller Heiman Group!

The merge of six different organisations, with an average tenure of 40 years, has resulted in five beliefs which define our world of selling culture. They underpin how we can help you:

  1. The most important decision we make as sales people, managers and leaders is how to connect with our customers
  2. Talent is one thing, but a scalable, consistent selling methodology is everything
  3. Customers expect a perspective; not a sales pitch
  4. The best are always looking for ways to improve
  5. Those that prepare win more and win more consistently

We do this ourselves, so we know we can do it for you and going forward with Miller Heiman Group we can now do it even better!

Make sure you look out for further information, but please let one of us know if you have any immediate questions.

AchieveGlobal Middle East

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Regional Visit: Saudi and Bahrain

img_3537I recently visited Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, where I attended a trade mission hosted by the Training Gateway. Despite being greeted by pouring rain in Riyadh, the mission and overall trip proved to be a success.

During this trip, I met with high- profile businesses in the capital of Saudi and had quality meetings in and around Eastern Province. I later attended further meetings organised by the Department of International Trade in Bahrain.

The visit took place against a backdrop of low oil prices impacting on the Middle East economy. Nations across the Middle East largely produce oil, from which a lot of income is generated; it is a main source of government revenue and thus is a primary export good for most countries. However, the low prices of oil are impacting the economy. It is reported that GDP growth will slow further to around 2.5 per cent. Consequently, Saudi Arabia is looking to diversify so that they are not so reliant on the revenues generated by oil.
Despite the impact oil price reductions is having on the economy, I was exposed to a high volume of prospective clients interested in our world class training programs to benefit their businesses in such an unpredictable period.

The visit was rounded off on the 1st December with a Christmas lunch hosted by the Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain, Mr Simon Martin.

If you are available and would like to make an appointment with me, during my regional visits, please send an email and I will arrange with you a time and place 🙂

 John

Does Your Sales Team Have Performance Issues?

The most important decision we make as salespeople, managers, and leaders is how to connect with our customers. Are we effectively engaging with our clients? How your sales team performs in front of customers is crucial, since they (usually) only get one chance. Successful salespeople know the importance of preparing and strategizing before meeting with customers and prospects. Bypassing the warm-up and instead jumping right into the sales pitch can be a costly mistake for the inexperienced salesperson (e.g., “Here’s what our product can do, and here’s why it’s great. How many should I order?”).

Conversation Ready?

Being customer-focused is one of the critical factors that has helped organizations weather economic storms and endure even after decades in business. And being truly customer focused, as opposed to merely paying lip service, will be the same critical component that will help companies meet their growth plans this year and the years to come. As Nattalie Hoch, Executive Vice President of Sales Operations, put it in a previous Journal article, “Being customer-focused is a journey, not a destination. What satisfies in this environment today will not in the next few years as customers continue to evolve,” Hoch said. “Being customer-focused is not an item on a to-do list you can check off. We can’t say we’ve done it and we’re ready to move on to something else.” Being the very best at client services will result in long-term business relationships. That comes from research and preparation and, out of that, come the right questions to ask, as well as the ability to listen to and truly hear the responses. (While this sounds logical, for many salespeople, listening to the customer has become both an overlooked and underrated skill.) Each face-to-face interaction with potential clients should be managed to move an opportunity forward. Not knowing what to ask the customer is one reason why customers stop agreeing to schedule time, and opportunities are ultimately lost. An inability to engage in—and, indeed, initiate—customer conversations is a tell-tale sign of lack of commitment and preparation. It demonstrates a fundamental disregard for putting the customer at the core. Recognizing and owning up to ineffective attempts to engage with customers as being the reason the opportunity didn’t advance, instead of providing timeworn excuses (poor economic conditions, indecisive buyers, crossed signals, etc.), is a far more productive way to improve the next attempt. The ability to assess one’s weaknesses in addition to one’s own strengths in an objective, clearheaded way is in itself a strength that can result in improved performance moving forward—and is one you should be cultivating among your teams and yourself.

More Customer-Facing Time: Quantity vs. Quality

“All sales organizations are relentlessly searching for ways to remove administrative and other nonproductive activities from their salespeople to free more customer time,” says Joe Galvin, Chief Research Officer at the Miller Heiman Group Research Institute. He goes on to point out, however, that for WorldClass Sales Performers, this means more than just increasing the frequency of customer interactions. Sales professionals must not only make the time to engage with their clients throughout the product life cycle, but they must also have compelling business reasons to meet. “The focused dialogues with the customer let them jointly evaluate the impact of their solutions on the customer’s business goals and objectives, as well as check customer satisfaction and detect signs of possible customer defection. These conversations then lead to new opportunities to cross-sell/upsell, introduce new products, or penetrate adjacent buying centers.” Such conversations can only occur when time has been invested to research before meeting with the client to be in the best possible position to understand the needs and challenges that the solution they ultimately propose will address and, ideally, solve for.

MHI sales best practice

The mark of success in any world-class organization is the ability to readily offer proven solutions and methodologies to clients and prospects that solve for customer needs and eliminate pain points or conversion hurdles. Our own research bears this out: 86 percent of World-Class Sales Performance organizations say they understand their customers’ issues before they propose a solution, compared to 51 percent of all others. These organizations recognize that for their solution to resonate with their customers, it must be connected to their issues. And, their salespeople have a solid understanding of their customers’ business needs, at a rate of 89 percent compared with 49 percent of all other organizations. Ultimately, sales professionals at these world-class organizations know they must earn the right to propose a solution by understanding the customers’ concepts.

It’s not about the quantity of conversations with the customer or prospect. It’s about the quality of those conversations and how much preparation has put in beforehand in order to engage with the customer in an informed, substantive way at every interaction. Don’t squander what may be the one opportunity in front of the only audience that matters—their customer. Performance matters.

Case Study: Our Sales Training helps Waste Connections close more accounts

Our clients – Where are they now?

Success in sales is as easy with some help from AchieveGlobal. Image courtesy of adamr on freedigitalphotos.net

Success in sales is as easy with some help from AchieveGlobal. Image courtesy of adamr on freedigitalphotos.net

Read the full article on how Professional Selling Skills and Professional Sales Negotiations were used to bring success to Waste Connections. Our sales training is designed to have measurable, practical results to your sales – the proof of its impact is in stories like these from clients who have gone on to succeed. 

Channel Sales Competency Study

Download the full study paper here

All channel organizations start with the same goal in mind: to achieve organizational objectives by leveraging channel partners. However, the shape of multi-channel operations varies across organizations. This difference is driven, in large part, by the different realities, e.g., cultural, market dynamics and channel maturity, of individual organizations. Yet, there are common competencies that have been proven to drive success regardless of organizational differences.

The Miller Heiman Group 2014 Channel Sales Competency Study sought to expand on the work we began with the 2010 Channel Management Skills Survey. In this study, we grouped the activities and behaviors of successful channel sales professionals into five core competencies:

  • Channel Core Fundamentals
  • Channel Business Acumen
  • Influencing Skills
  • Partnership Planning
  • Leading and Managing Partnerships

Within each competency, we asked respondents to rank a total of 55 specific behaviors and activities in order of importance and performance.

Tying performance levels to results allowed us to single out six “best bets” for driving results. For example, increasing channel partner productivity is a common strategic objective. Our research shows that channel managers who committed to planning a strategy for partner development saw a 123 percent increase on partner productivity over the prior year.

Another key to reaching sales targets is to increase the number of qualified opportunities in the sales funnel. When channel managers worked with partners who embraced metric development and SMART 90-day actions plans, they were able to double the number of qualified opportunities generated.

By leveraging the insights from this study, channel organizations will be able to create a solid framework for developing, executing and managing an effective multi-channel strategy – one that leads to bottom line results.

Read the full report