We spraken met Frédéric Piana, Commercieel Directeur Frankrijk bij een multinational

Words from the field: We spoke to Frédéric Piana, Commercial Director France at a multinational.

It’s been said before: Culture eats strategy for breakfast. What do you call a corporate sales program that

It’s been said before: Culture eats strategy for breakfast.

What do you call a corporate sales program that impacts teams and culture? Right, a happy meal!

Frédéric had his team enrolled for an international corporate change program of the sales organization and participated too. He talked us through the experience of the entire program and the impact on the team and himself as a sales leader.

Frédéric, how did you experience the sales program? What feedback did you receive from your team?

The overarching program dealt with enabling growth. When Perpetos rolled out the first part of the program, that was directly linked to our go-to-market approach, we realized that this sales program was more than just providing a sales approach.

For example, the sessions were organized with mixed groups, meaning employees from different business units in one group. During the training, it became clear that those initial perceived segment differences, weren’t so different when approaching it from the customers perspective. Even more, because the teams saw the sales methodology worked independent of segments, a bond between the participants was created.

The workshops with role-play and realistic client cases, created an excellent opportunity to adopt a uniform and new way of working, which meanwhile all teams had bought into. Group learnings were brought to an individual level by individual coaching and it allowed further progress.

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When did you see behavioral changes, signs of adoption and changes of habits?

Let me state clearly, that adopting new ways of working requires focus and effort. Applying the methodology demands people to take a step back and question themselves. Throughout the learning, the importance of an open mindset and the willingness to adopt, are stimulated by the approach of the training and the learner engagement support by Perpetos.

The Perpetos’ methodology was perceived as refreshing and just what sales teams need in today’s market. Our sales team was already a highly experienced team, so that was very important for the buy-in right from the start. Perpetos implemented a common vocabulary focusing on the customer buying cycle instead of traditional linear steps of sales. The use of the terminology across the different teams and departments became part of our day to day allowing everybody to know what to do when. The customer verifiable outcomes in combination with the common language heavily improved both the efficiency and effectiveness.

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How did this methodology impact your teams and success?

Throughout the process, there were two important recurring elements.

First, the methodology and approach assured our teams which actions to take and gave them the necessary structure, avoiding too much tension at important moments.

Second, there are no bad actions, but you must know what to do at what time.

The combination of both these elements provided a structure to our teams and ensured we moved in the same direction. We learned to do less, with more focus. When we apply the methodology well, it significantly increases our chances of winning. During the 18-month period we were able to win all our ‘must-win’ targets, with involvement of our Perpetos’ coach.

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Final observations?

The program brought not only a changed way of working, but also created a mental and culture shift. We no longer push our activities but align our activities with the customer’s decision cycle. Even in another business context, a similar program can help to install a more efficient structure amongst sales teams. It plays a bonding role in the context of restructurings and adapting sales teams to the new reality in the field.

Frédéric, big thanks!

About Pascal Persyn

Pascal supports organisations in delivering commercial excellence in the areas of Sales Enablement, Content Strategy and Buyer Journey Enablement. His pet projects are about helping companies overcome challenges due to the empowered customer and thus evolving into buyer-aligned organisations. His executive experience in private, VC-backed and public companies enables doing the right thing at the right time with the right people. Don’t hesitate to contact Pascal for expert advice: pascal@perpetos.com