David Howard Training

Example Training Initiatives

From Product Focused to Client focused

Major initiative working with all products across the trading floor. Working with specialist sales teams to change their style of approach from being overtly product focused to becoming client focused. This required changing behaviour and beliefs, developing a new skill set so that salespeople were able to engage with the client to understand their needs and offer relevant solutions based on these needs.

introducing a cross selling sales model

Working with a client that wanted to leverage its product suite across the organisation. Historically salespeople were only responsible for selling their product but the client wanted to change the model so salespeople were responsible for promoting the full range of products and services that the Bank had to offer. This required working with the sales teams to increase their product awareness, increasing their ability to identify cross-selling opportunities. The teams were empowered with the confidence to discuss products and services that they were not previously responsible for, resulting in quality lead-generation and cross selling strategies.

from a niche provider to a provider of total solutions

Working with a firm where they entered the market as a niche provider of a specific product. The firm recognised that to be competitive in their marketplace they needed to compete on a ‘total solution provider’ basis. The clients had shared with the firm that they did not want to go to multiple firms to buy discreet services, preferring to get them all from one firm. This required the company to change their business model and make a number of acquisitions to be able to offer an ‘enterprise solution’. Having made the required acquisitions, the sales force needed to understand the products and services and to gear their sales approach towards an enterprise solution, involving more complex pricing models and developing more advanced negotiation skills.

Bottom Up to Top Down

Working with a firm where the sales team’s typical approach was to sell to the end user. This limited their exposure across the client organisation and resulted in only selling the basic product. The firm wanted to be seen as more strategically important to their client and the running of their business. This required a top down approach, which meant contacting and working with the C-Suite as well as influencers and users. This required the salespeople to build their confidence when meeting with senior stakeholders and developing an understanding of the needs of the C-Suite. Identifying decision making processes and criteria in order to position the firm with key decision makers was essential.

Moving to Off Balance Sheet Fee Eraning Products & Services

Working with a client where the predominate business was lending products; this was impacting the balance sheet by increasing risk without generating acceptable revenue streams. The objective of the training was to train the Relationship Managers to not focus exclusively on lending products but to also expand the conversations to other off-balance sheet products and services. The Relationships Managers received training on how to accurately identify client interests across the product portfolio. This led to an increase in sales of off-balance products and services.

Maintaining revenue streams during difficult market conditions

Working with a client where they recognised the threat of difficult market conditions on the revenue streams and profitability. When the market conditions get difficult and business volumes are down everyone looks to cut or reduce costs where they can. This can mean having to reduce your margins or lose the business altogether. In these situations salespeople can be very quick to reduce their pricing for fear of losing the client altogether. A culture of ‘a bad deal is better than no deal’ can quickly take place. To avoid this salespeople needed to learn the art of being able to negotiate mutually beneficial outcomes with their clients. They needed to be able to negotiate in a pressurised environment. To achieve this the firm created pricing and packaging guidelines for the sales team. The salespeople attended negotiation skills training using real life client case studies and used the pricing and packaging guidelines to reflect the typical negotiations they were having on a daily basis. This enabled them to immediately transfer the skills into the working environment resulting in improved outcomes for the firm.

Managing difficult clients situations during challenging market conditions

Working with a client where the Relationship Managers had to deliver bad news or where reporting had changed due to MiFID 2 to clients. It was recognised that the clients would not take the news well and that a conflict situation could arise. This required the Relationship Managers to develop their skills of managing difficult situations including potential conflict.

strenghtening client relationships through proactive Client realtionship management

Working with a client who recognised that competing on the strength of products alone in today’s market place is not enough. It was easy for the clients to commoditise their offering and the sale became price sensitive. Ultimately the client went with whoever offered the best price. To avoid this situation the client recognised that they needed to compete on more than price. The realisation was that clients are prepared to pay more and be less price sensitive if they feel they are getting a superior service. The service is delivered by the people therefore it is critical to a firm’s success that their staff are suitably equipped to deliver a consistently high level of service right across the firm. This required appointing and training Relationship Managers to coordinate the delivery of a consistently high level of service into the client’s organisation. In addition they created client teams to manage the flow of communications between the firms ensuring clients expectations were met and where possible exceeded.

developing a proactive business development mind-set

Working with a client who wanted their implementation consultants to become more business development-minded when managing the after sales service of its clients. Whilst the consultants did an excellent job in ensuring the clients received the services that they were promised during the sales process, they were missing the opportunity to introduce the client to additional value-added products and services. This required the consultants to be trained so that they were confident in identifying needs and managing conversations with clients before passing on qualified leads to the sales team. The project led to stronger client relationships and increased revenue streams for the firm.

Maintaining Sales Force Momentum & Productivity

Driving greater productivity and increased sales was the client’s strategic objective. The client recognised that to do this they not only needed to train the sales force but to also engage sales managers in the process. The client recognised that training the sales team alone would have a limited impact on their sales activity. They needed to ensue that what they learnt on the training was reinforced back in the work place and sustained behavioural change was actioned.  In order to achieve this, they identified that the sales management team needed to provide greater guidance, support and coaching for their sales teams. They also needed to learn how to monitor and review performance that was both quantitative and qualitative.

A workshop was designed and attended by the sales management so that they could develop their skill set to proactively manage their sales teams. This involved introducing processes to monitor and review progress. Provide inspirational leadership and be able to coach their teams to deliver increased sales and higher revenues. This helped to ensure the ‘stickiness’ of the training and drove greater productivity which led to an increase in sales.