Situation

A brand name national technology manufacturer realized it could increase sales, build new business pipelines and close deals quickly if its sales personnel were better able to articulate and demonstrate the full value of equipment financing to their commercial customers.

When the manufacturer approached The Alta Group, it was focused on developing sales teams nationwide, but when the company saw how well its equipment finance training was working, it decided to expand the training internationally.

Alta recognized that its client’s customers were asking for financing structures that would better meet their new business requirements and the new challenges that have developed since the financial crisis that began in 2008.

The manufacturer’s sales personnel had limited knowledge in how to sell equipment leasing to their customers—a wide range of companies, from small- and medium-size to enterprise-size. Most of these customers were seeking total solution packages with hardware, software and services bundled.

Solution

The Alta Group developed a series of custom workshops for the manufacturer’s sales team—with a core mission of developing the company’s sales force skills to quickly increase equipment incremental sales and financing participation rates.

The workshops educated sales teams in almost two-thirds of the U.S. and also in Canada for this global manufacturer.

The workshop series was specifically tailored to sales professionals who were not necessarily well informed about equipment leasing and financing. The training covered:

  • Why customers use financing,
  • How to use financing to close deals faster,
  • Understand your customer’s budget and appropriation processes,
  • How to make better C-level executive calls,
  • Ways to improve account control, and
  • How to build a prospect pipeline to effectively lock out the competition.

The classroom-based training also covered the basics of how customers make financing decisions and how financing options become an integral part of the total solution being sold—as well as a critical part of executive marketing and account control.

The Alta Group had provided global consulting and professional development services in the past to this manufacturer. Therefore, Alta’s experience both in the equipment finance industry and with this client specifically enabled Alta’s professional development advisor to tailor the workshops to the client’s specific needs and be ready to execute the program swiftly.

Success

The manufacturer’s sales professionals are now able to use financing as an integrated sales tool to close business opportunities faster and potentially increase average deal size.

Workshop attendees learned how to make the initial sales call, deftly handle any customer objections and apply a consultative sales approach toward adding equipment financing to their deals. They have new skill sets and are confident and ready to use them.

Offering financing in a consultative way is also giving this client a meaningful competitive differentiation.

While it is premature to measure incremental sales and participation rates, these are anticipated to rise incrementally as the workshop program continues to expand in countries beyond America.

The Alta Group’s Professional Development Practice is headed by Shawn Halladay, managing director.