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Success Story /

VSP helps a Global Food Technology Company Sales Rep secure a substantial deal from a new customer

The Challenge

A Global Food Technology company Sales Rep was trying to build rapport with a key decision-maker at a large confectionary manufacturer. The Sales Rep found her contact very challenging and struggled to come up with ways to meet her expectations and develop an effective working relationship.

The Sales Rep received a lot of requests with tight time frames and demanding conditions. In an effort to secure the opportunity she often drove long distances to deliver samples, only to have the contact take the sample and walk away without any thanks or acknowledgement. The Sales Rep felt rebuffed and saw this behaviour as rude and abrupt.

The Sales Rep had forged productive relationships within the Purchasing Department and had their support, but the decision-maker acted as a “blocker”. The Sales Rep felt demotivated and struggled to know what to do to progress the business opportunity.

The Answer

As part of a structured sales development journey, the Food Technology company implemented The Versatile Salesperson (VSP)* which is used by the company globally. Within the workshop participants focus on their own customer challenges and apply the new skills to their own “real life” case study.

The Sales Rep focused on the confectionary manufacturer decision-maker. She quickly realised that her contact wasn’t actually being rude – she was just extremely task-focused. As a Driver style the contact wanted efficiency, autonomy, and results. The Sales Rep had a different style: as an Expressive she values relationships, creativity and is motivated by recognition.

“VSP showed us how to firstly identify then modify our approach to suit the different preferences of customers and prospective customers, particularly where there are roadblocks”.

Sales Director, Global Food Technology Company

Once the Sales Rep realised that the customer was extremely task-focused, she modified her approach. She quickly responded to the customer’s requests, dialled back the small talk, and kept conversations focused on the task. Applying her newly learned versatility skills she found that the decision-maker reciprocated positively. She gave the customer what she wanted, in the way she wanted it and made the customer look good.

This resulted in a quick change. Tension was lowered and the customer became more open and willing to engage. Within three weeks of the VSP workshop she agreed to support the initial project, signed if off and drove it through her company.

The Value

This initial sale was worth $800,000 to the Food Technology company. The customer now consistently gives the Sales Rep new opportunities and four additional projects have been secured valued at $120,000. A deal has also been won back from a competitor worth $24,000.

The Sales Rep now has an extremely positive relationship with the customer and is briefed on every colour and flavour opportunity which is providing extensive current and future business opportunities.

* A Wilson Learning Worldwide program

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