Working with Imparta has been a great experience. The team is agile, customer-focused and has a can-do attitude. We have worked together in a true partnership, operating as a team to develop incredibly high levels of engagement for the program across our business, our leaders and our salespeople. The project management of the program has been tight, allowing us to deliver the program quickly and to great effect.
Linda Tillson – HR Business Partner – Gurit
Gurit has established itself as a developer and innovator in the composites industry, supplying the automotive, marine, aerospace and wind energy sectors. With headquarters in Switzerland, the sales teams are based around the globe, organized in three main regions – Americas, EMEA and APAC.
The company were facing increased competition from competitors in their principal markets, high rates of market volatility and, at the same time, more sophisticated procurement behaviors from their clients.
To continue to develop the business and protect margins, Gurit needed to:
- Build resilience to market fluctuations in all geographic regions by adding a broader range of market opportunities to the pipeline, and
- Optimize the win rate while improving margin by implementing a global best practice sales methodology.
Imparta were selected as the right partner to drive this change.
We selected Imparta as they showed us that they understood our challenges, had helped companies overcome similar challenges before, and were committed to helping Gurit improve how competitive we are in our different markets. Their client-centric sales methodology was an ideal fit for our business strategy. This is what made Imparta really stand out during our buying process – their focus was on solving our business challenges with a well thought-out blended learning approach, not simply selling training courses.
Stefan Gautschi – General Manager Composite Materials – Gurit
The Gurit Sales Academy
To address Gurit’s commercial priorities, Imparta worked with them to develop a global Sales Academy, bringing together all aspects of the development of their sales teams. The Academy is required to deliver training in a format which suits Gurit’s global decentralized structure and has five principal objectives:
- Drive the adoption of a core set of tools within a client-centric selling framework to shift the conversation from specification or price to value.
- Ensure sales teams are able to adapt and apply the sales tools to localized sales opportunities.
- Enhance the coaching skills of regional sales directors and managers.
- Improve the presentation skills of the salespeople to deliver the Gurit value proposition with greater impact.
- Combine the efficiencies of online digital learning with the effectiveness of face-to-face coaching on real-life account opportunities.
Many of Gurit’s salespeople come from predominantly technical backgrounds and have received little formal sales training. To support their development, and to drive the required behaviour changes, the Academy covers a comprehensive 12-month learning journey for the sales teams and their managers.
This journey combines multiple activities and delivery methods, including over 60 hours of interactive digital learning through Imparta’s Virtual Sales Academy (VSA), online simulations to practice new sales skills, assessed role-plays, coached work-based activities, and support toolkits and workshops (known as Bunkai sessions) to help salespeople apply their learning to their live opportunities.
The Gurit Sales Academy Learner Journey
Imparta worked with Gurit to ensure the Academy sits at the centre of a broader change process. We know this ‘change, not training’ approach yields far greater results than training alone. The stages of this process are shown below.
After the first six months of training, we evaluated together the early impact of the Academy on a sample group of 50% of the Academy’s participants. The analysis focused on the impact the new sales capabilities have had on two sales metrics – deals in the pipeline and win probability – using Imparta’s online Business Impact Capture Tool.
Emlyn Middleton, Imparta’s Client Director for Gurit, highlighted some of the reasons for the success of the Gurit Sales Academy:
‘The key factor for success has been the team at Gurit. Their commitment to change, right across the business, was really refreshing – this is a business transformation, not a training initiative for them. Their openness to new ideas and collaborative ways of working meant they got the very best from our team. Finally the incredibly high level of engagement, energy and motivation of everyone around the business has made sure the Gurit Sales Academy will deliver ongoing value well beyond the core program. We look forward to helping Gurit build on the initial successes and drive their sales performance to new heights over the coming year.’
The Participant’s Story
This felt different to any other program I have attended – it was a fully involved process. I really enjoyed learning the core concepts at my own pace, and having the role-plays to test the theory with my manager was really useful too – it felt like my manager was with me the whole way.
Chris Henshaw – Sales Executive
Increase in pipeline value for a cross-section sample of opportunities
Percentage increase in probability of winning these opportunities has increased (from 48% to 85%)
Increase in pipeline
by salespeople who
are receiving regular coaching from their managers, outperforming salespeople who are not being coached by 5.6%
ROI on the first
six months of the Academy program (based on 50% of the salesforce each presenting and assessing one deal)
Anticipated minimum first-year ROI (previous analysis extrapolated across the sales population)