The global transportation and logistics industry is undergoing a transformation which is leading to tougher competition. Changing customer requirements and business models are leading to more complex sales cycles and price pressures. The transport sector at large is becoming commoditised.
Dachser is a global leader in the field of system logistics. Established in1930 by Thomas Dachser and maintaining its family traditions it has grown into a global player. From traditional beginnings Dachser now services a global customer base across road, air and sea transports and value-added services. Operations are underpinned by a strong commitment to innovation and high performance.
Keeping up with the market
The evolving market called for a new approach in Dachser Sweden’s sales organisation. Leaders felt selling skills needed a boost in order to keep up with this faster, more demanding market.
Dachser knew that to grow their market position, they needed to be able to capture and persuasively articulate the value of the changing environment to their customers. They approached Huthwaite International to help, as local language capabilities were needed.
The transformation journey begins
In 2017 Huthwaite and Dachser joined hands and began a 12 month sales transformation journey that would see Dachser’s own best practices raised to the researched behavioural best practices of SPIN®.
Fig 1. The Huthwaite Approach was used to ensure a deeply relevant and measurable programme on an individual, team and corporate level.
Using two of its key transformational tools: 1) The Huthwaite Approach and 2) The SPIN® Learning Journey, Huthwaite devised a programme that would work at the heart of Dachser’s sales culture.
Using the structured and measured framework provided by The Huthwaite Approach, current selling skills and issues across all sales teams were analysed and the extent and nature of the behaviour change needed was established [Content diagnosis]. Next the Huthwaite team measured the internal climate, specifically levels of receptivity to change as well as identified individuals who could act as change leaders. The best implementation model was then selected [Process diagnosis]. Only then, after a strong buy-in and a conscious awareness of the SPIN® methodology was established, could the training begin [Intervention] followed by a hands-on coaching programme [Integration].
For Dachser this took the form of a series of workshops to ensure top down buy-in. Non-sellers, sales managers and change leaders were familiarised with the rationale for change, what the planned programme looked like as well as key concepts from the SPIN® methodology.
Their understanding and support for the programme was crucial to its success. New high performance standards for “The Dachser Way of Selling” were co-created and aligned to the researched SPIN® model and is now the common reference for the outstanding selling behaviours to strive for.
From there, Sales representatives and their managers were trained in the SPIN® methodology and Managers were additionally trained to be SPIN® coaches to reinforce and help embed the core skills post training. Site managers also had follow-up coaching sessions to help them coach the coaches and SPIN® Refresher events were held to benchmark and document that behaviours had moved from initially ‘Acceptable’ towards ‘Outstanding’ behavioural performance levels during the project period.
Every level of the sales structure across 4 sites in Sweden was trained, supported and reinforced in a manner appropriate to their needs.
Positive outcomes emerging
It’s early days but behaviours amongst sales teams have already shifted. Teams now share a common language, the content of conversations has changed, confidence is rising and Dachser has already achieved significant new business wins as a result. With the original programme completed, Dachser is keen to expand and build on its success.
Advice for other businesses
René Sidor is clear on his advice for other businesses experiencing the same challenges and considering the same solution:
“It’s important to ensure buy-in from managers. Preparing them for change, so that they can instil confidence in their sales reps is core. Once the training is complete, repetition, refreshers and coaching are crucial.”