Kinectrics Inc, formerly part of the utility company Ontario Hydro, is a newly-independent company which has over 85 years of experience in solving complex technical problems in the energy business. The company is now seeking to develop its market beyond its former Toronto-based parent company to the wider energy generation, transmission and distribution sector throughout the whole of North America.
The challenge for Kinectrics is to develop its offering beyond problem solving and to sell consultancy advice for improving efficiencies, safety and better asset management.
CEO, Ralph Watts, and Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Bob Glassen, are both new to Kinectrics. They recognised that it was not enough just to re-brand the organisation and recruit a new North American salesforce. Developing a sales culture and improving the commercial skills of all of the people who have customer contact is essential to achieving their corporate goals.
Bob Glassen explains: “I quickly recognised that we needed a training partner who could help us build these key skills into our approach from the start.”
Ralph Watts had previous experience of working with Huthwaite in the UK on the preparation for a major negotiation and, by coincidence, Bob was in the process of reading some books on sales and sales management written by Huthwaite.
Kinectrics recognised that it is crucial to have not only world-class innovative science and engineering capabilities and an astounding range of solutions and technically brilliant people, but also effective consulting and selling skills. Bob Glassen emphasises: “The key to expanding our market is the development of effective consulting skills across the new organisation. Without these skills, we will never break out of our old business model.”
Huthwaite’s Barry Hazelwood comments: “This project is very rewarding from a consultant’s point of view. Many companies seek to change their culture, but so many of them embark on re-engineering their structures and processes; thinking that these in themselves will begin to change people’s behaviour. It’s only later that they recognise the gap. The people at Kinectrics recognised that developing skills was an essential part of the ‘change mix’ and had to be accomplished at the same time.
On top of that, they are just fascinating people to work with - I am constantly amazed at their technical expertise.”
So far this year a number of SPIN® Consulting Skills programmes have been delivered and the first Negotiation programme was run in October. The verdict on the programmes? Bob Glassen again:
“I have been selling consulting services for over twenty years. When I read Huthwaite’s publications, they made perfect sense to me, and I hired them to help train our sales teams. I certainly haven’t been disappointed. Over the years, I have attended several sales and sales-related training courses. When it comes to helping people sell professional services and build effective win/win partnerships with their customers, Huthwaite is - without question - the best.”