How to effectively communicate to high-value customers

Written by Huthwaite International

Allen Bladon has spent much of the last year working with one of the high-tech sector’s shining lights - Oxford Instruments - on a project that reflects three of Huthwaite’s key USPs: international reach, concentration on targeting high value sales, and a first class rapport between trainer and trainee.

Oxford Instruments describes itself as a global leader in advanced instrumentation, with a reputation for producing world-class products in the fields of superconductivity, analytical equipment, medical equipment and magnets for Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Traditionally the sales teams have received excellent product technology training and initial sales training. But as the company grows, its global customer base faces increasing competition, and it has now become crucial that a more structured, internationally consistent sales model should replace the less co-ordinated arrangements previously in place around the world.

Huthwaite International was selected to provide the answers after careful consideration of a number of companies and their training solutions. Familiar Huthwaite attractions, such as the hard research base which underpins SPIN® Selling, stood alongside the specific programme requirements laid down by Oxford Instruments’ Dr Jim Hutchins and his team in their evaluation of potential training providers.

Dr Hutchins saw the opportunity for the SPIN® methodology to communicate to high-value customers in industrial and academic sectors, how the benefits of the technology products precisely met the needs of the users, and how the training is delivered in a common language that could be applied to sales teams on any continent.

Phase one of the three-phase programme, which includes SPIN® Selling, Negotiation and Account Strategy for Major Sales, is now complete. It comprised the delivery of SPIN® Selling programmes in Europe, North America and Japan and early feedback has been very positive. The programme now forges ahead with Negotiation Skills training being rolled out across Europe from July.

“I firmly believe that sales is all about human skills and the quality of the Huthwaite consultants, has been key to the success of the training,” said Dr Hutchins. “The trainer was engaging and interactive and has built up an excellent personal relationship which contributes to the effectiveness of what he says. Salespeople don’t always find it easy to carry what they’ve learned in training into their everyday activities, but our people certainly seem to be doing that - with Huthwaite’s help.”

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