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Case Study

Consumer Product Goods

By March 9, 2021No Comments

A  privately  held  distributor  in  the  sporting  goods  market  who  sold  directly  to  independent  retailers  wanted  to increase their revenues and profit margins in a highly competitive industry.  They settled on a strategy of changing their sales process from an industry standard transactional model to a more relational, consultative approach.  The challenge  was  the  sales  professionals  had  to  build  strong  relationships  with  the  business  owners  and  their  designated managers by phone, with only occasional visits to the larger retailers, and no visits to the majority of them.  


We  first  sat  in  two  different  regional  offices  to  listen  to  multiple  sales  pros  conduct  their  sales  calls  in  the transactional  manner  they  were  accustomed  to  using.    We  then  assessed  the  entire  sales  team  to  identify  the behavior differences between the higher performing and lower performing sales professionals.  (A positive finding was that while being transactional in nature, the high performers also had higher natural competencies in building and managing relationships.) 

From  this  data,  the  current  sales  professionals  were  provided  a  mandatory a two-day intensive training on relationship selling skills.  And, the Sales Managers were provided a three-day training that included the selling skills and how to coach their employees through the transition to the new model.   

Following  the  two-day intensive training, one-day reinforcement training/coaching was provided on a quarterly basis for two (2) years.  Additionally, group coaching calls were scheduled with each region on a bi-monthly basis to coach around specific customer interactions.  From the initial assessment data, a hiring success profile was identified for new sales professionals joining the organization.  Today, 9 years later, they continue to use the hiring success profile and assessment tool. 


The client organization began to see increases in market share within the second quarter of beginning the process. Over a period of three years, the company revenue increased from approximately $165 million to $450 million and peaked at around $700 million.   While this was not entirely due to the change in the sales process, in an independent industry market research study, our client’s sales professionals were consistently rated as the “best in the industry” by the independent retail owners year-after-year.

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