Sopra Steria prepares for the post-COVID era with Huthwaite sales and negotiation skills to lead markets and drive results for their clients

Sopra Steria prepares for the post-COVID era with Huthwaite sales and negotiation skills to lead markets and drive results for their clients

Challenge

Building a sales mindset and skillset in ‘reluctant’ sellers who need to sell and negotiate successfully in challenging markets.

Solution

Provide a full SPIN Selling, Account Strategy and Complex Negotiation learning journey to create and align a sales language and behaviours to positively impact overall engagement within the client facing teams.

Outcome

Leverage new skills for growth through programmes that resonate with and challenge consultants to have better conversations, create value for their clients, develop their accounts and negotiate more effectively.

Getting started

For Sopra Steria, choosing the right sales methodology was instrumental in building a programme that would challenge the consultants and ensure that new behaviours can be sustained. As Huthwaite training programmes are based on the most validated and widely respected research within the sales and negotiation world, not only did it equip the consultant teams with the correct mix of skills, processes and tools to build better customer relationships and win more business opportunities, but also the intellectual rigour demanded by one of the worlds’ leading consulting groups.

Often the word ’sales’ provokes a negative reaction with consultants and it can fall outside their comfort zone. Our people are trusted professionals - highly competent in their field of expertise, so for them to learn and ultimately use new behaviours to create value, we needed to build a business-wide sales language, processes and set of skills that would quickly encourage the development of a sales mindset across different teams.

Alf Gilroy
Managing Director, Sopra Steria Applications, Scandinavia

Challenges along the way

In the middle of our programme roll out plans and scheduled delivery dates, the COVID-19 outbreak hit so we were at once dealing with two equally important factors – keeping Sopra Steria and Huthwaite employees safe and ensuring business continuity and preserving agreed operations as best as possible.

The initially agreed classroom delivery for the Account Strategy programme was completely disrupted by COVID-19 restrictions, but as Huthwaite delivers globally with highly competent virtual trainers, sessions via Zoom, completely re-imagined from the physical to the virtual classroom worked well. Participants enjoyed and benefited from the collaborative learning experience Huthwaite provided with e-learning sessions experienced on a digital platform that allowed for participant and trainer collaboration.

Together with Huthwaite we created a tough programme to challenge our senior team. Ultimately, we wanted them fully invested in our learning journey – to understand, practice and believe in the new skills and language we were introducing. If the desire for change is there within our business, championed by our senior leaders, then we can really create the conditions to motivate people to learn and practice their new skills with enthusiasm.

Jennifer Blechar
Director, COO, Applications Sopra Steria

The Huthwaite Learning Journey

SPIN Selling, Account Strategy and Complex Negotiation skills development programmes are built on Huthwaite’s rigorous behavioural research into what the very best salespeople and negotiators in the world do differently. The full learning journey implemented at Sopra Steria ensures the sustainable delivery of behaviour change through the following stages:

  • Acquire knowledge – online digital learning – completed before the virtual classes

  • Practise skills – within a virtual or physical classroom workshop:

    • SPIN Selling – classroom (pre COVID)

    • Account Strategy – virtual classroom/collaborative platform (during COVID restrictions)

    • Complex Negotiations – classroom/virtual classroom

  • Workplace transfer – applying the principles and skills to actual sales opportunities with workplace transfer tasks reviewed within the collaborative platform.

  • Coaching support – from Huthwaite experts

Key outcomes

  • Clear communication and commitment to change from senior team inspires strategic direction – new sales and negotiation behaviours championed by the senior leadership team significantly impacted the potential for organisational change and ultimately, for the overall success of the learning journey.

  • The tools to promote the shared ownership of the customer experience across the organisation - as a result of an era of rapid growth, customer facing teams were extremely busy and faced the added challenge of trying to communicate and agree where projects needed more focus without a shared sales language. Aligning projects around the Huthwaite Buying Cycle ensured sales strategy improvements were made straight away.

  • Future proofing business development for the ‘new normal’ - implementing the major sales and negotiation programmes of SPIN, Account Strategy and Complex Negotiation and, improving the consultants’ skill level, which will be crucial to building Sopra Steria business resilience and emerge stronger, post pandemic.

The Huthwaite approach helps highly technical and sector skilled professionals to feel comfortable with the idea of selling – building their confidence and changing their attitude from sales as some kind of ‘dark art’ to a value creating and memorable dialogue that can uncover new opportunities and convert it into fee paying work.

Anders Hjort
Regional Development Director, Huthwaite International

Sopra Steria and Huthwaite International

Sopra Steria is focused on delivering successful digital transformation projects for leading organisations across the globe. They are an organisation committed to great collaboration across departments and because both Sopra Steria and Huthwaite believe strong partnerships can create change, our mission to ‘change behaviour and change results’ combines competence, structure and enthusiasm - all the tools we need to succeed together. It’s unsurprising that Norway’s leading consulting group in digitization has been ranked as Norway’s best workplace for the last four years and we look forward to a long-term relationship, rolling out our sales and negotiation programmes across more teams who are concerned with creating value for their customers.

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