Mulford Plastics Case Study
Since being established in Australia in 1946, Mulford Plastics has been in the business of delivering solutions to its customers. Mulford Plastics were instrumental in pioneering much of today’s wide applications of plastics through the Asia Pacific Region. They have operations in India,China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. This brief covers the Australian and New Zealand market place.
Mulford’s operate in a highly competitive market place where each customer has a number of suppliers they can purchase from. This often means that the customer places Mulford in a competitive situation in order to apply leverage on services and price. Compounding this was the tight economic climate currently being experienced both in Australia and New Zealand. This tended to focus the sales conversation on price alone rather than exploring a value add proposition. To be successful in this environment the Mulford salesperson needs to have a high level of relationship and negotiation skills, as well as the ability to position Mulford as a first choice supplier across a range of products.
For the internal sales people the challenge was to change their mentality and sales capability from that of purely reactive (i.e. order takers) to one of where they use a proactive approach to managing existing large accounts, reactivate old accounts as well as to find new business.
For the managers the challenge here was that they had limited experience in identifying team member skills deficiencies moreover the underlying reasons that caused them. Although experienced in providing feedback they lacked the necessary coaching skills to implement and support a sustainable skills development program.
Prosell was chosen because of our experience and focus on sales and performance coaching, the strength of our team and our ability to design and execute a tailor made solution. After detailed diagnosis that produced the overall action plan and priorities for improvement, Prosell’s program was conducted in 3 phases. The first phase was to work with senior management to put in place the standards for sales management and branch sales activities. This in turn allowed phase 2 to be implemented effectively, which was a series of workshops for managers and the internal and external sales people. The managers’ workshop made sure that managers had the ability to assess, coach and improve the performance of the sales people. The sales workshops focussed on the sales skills necessary to drive sales conversation’s that differentiated Mulford from the competitors and relegating the price discussion down the order of priority.
Phase 3 was the transfer of skills and standards from classroom to workplace. Prosell’s Licence to Coach™ process was used, which gave managers one on one coaching and feedback, to the point where their coaching expertise was measurably changing the results of the sales people. Phase 3 also included embedding ‘best practice’ into the company, which involved working with Senior Management to make sure all the standards were included in performance measurement and review systems.
A 12% revenue growth year on year within the first 6 months of implementation
The restructuring of our customer approach, sales territories and up skilling of the internal sales team generated 30% growth in our lower tier customers.
A return on investment in less than four months into the twelve month program
A skilled external sales team that is able to win market share in the face of competition selling on price alone
A management team that is able to drive a sustainable performance improvement program.
What Mulford says about Prosell
Our sponsor at Mulford Mr Ian Grant has no hesitation in recommending Prosell. What he values about us is our rigour, professionalism, focus, subject matter expertise and ability to develop programs that relate to Mulford’s culture and way of doing business. Not to mention relate specifically to the issues the company was facing at the time.
The feedback from senior management and participants has been excellent; the program has been universally well received.
This is what some of the participants had to say:
The Prosell program has given me the structure that if I follow it will allow me to effectively grow the skills of my sales people.
Prosell has rejuvenated the sales process within my Team. The most exciting part is that I now have a process and the tools to further develop my sales people and help them to get to their next level.
Prosell was extremely beneficial as it has given us all more structure and purpose to our calls. It enables us to maximise every opportunity and now we are all more sales focused rather than order takers. The biggest improvement I have noticed is the call for action resulting in the advancement of calls.
Prosell has provided training that enhances the sales process with new skills and takes staff to an increased level of development. The training has cemented the foundation for ongoing increased performance from all our staff involved with the process of professional selling.
The Prosell course has enabled us to really take a very close look at the way in which we go to market and has changed the way that we interact with customers, where and how our sales people spend their time and has helped us to come to the realisation that we have an un tapped resource in our internal sales structure.
Our external sales team have become more targeted in their approach and more organised in preparation for sales calls and are getting better results from their time.
In the first 6 months of implementation of the Prosell coaching culture we have achieved sales revenue growth of 12% year on year. The restructuring of our customers and sales territories and the engagement of internal sales as a sales force has generated 30% growth in our lower tier customers.
We now have a focused and measured Sales team who are generating better results.