RICOH CASE STUDY
Ricoh is a document management company, which sells a full document management capability to its target markets. These target markets include major corporations, government bodies, educational institutions and small to medium enterprise throughout in Australia. Not only is this a fiercely competitive market, but it is also a very dynamic one. Like many industries, technology has dramatically changed the services offered to the customer and the role of the sales person has changed from contract negotiator for a range of office equipment to being seen as an advisor on how best to use the technology to drive efficiencies in productivity and reductions in waste, cost, complexity and environmental impacts.
In order to win and maintain major business, the national sales force needed to understand the ever increasing range of product features and support services Ricoh could offer. The sales team then needed to be able to engage with the key contacts within our clients’ organisation in order to influence their buying decisions. In the past, most office equipment companies only engaged with their market during the contract renewal cycle, hoping to win a competitives bidding process. Ricoh knew they needed to engage with clients well before this process, to influence their thinking on how they might use a complete, managed document service to drive productivity gains and cost savings. This meant they had to understand Ricoh’s overall value proposition (not just a list of services) and then make the approach to the customer on a more value added consultative basis, not just to pitch based on price.
A sales training program was designed by Prosell, which involved bringing together all the product services groups and developing the articulation of the Ricoh value proposition in its three components;
*The generic value proposition (what our strengths mean in the market)
*The customised value proposition (how to position the VP with specific types of contact and industries)
*The sales person as the value proposition (how you differentiate through your capabilities, knowledge and behaviour)
This sales training program was then rolled out to the national sales team and its management. This included the planning and account strategies that would allow the sales person to both understand and plan how to weave this value proposition into the entire sales cycle, from initial approach to the implementation of an improved document management environment.
The primary measures set for the program were number of significant corporate opportunities identified (ability to approach and engage) and the number of corporate managed document services contracts won (ability to present the Value Proposition and differentiate from the competition). Ricoh also supported the sales teams with other initiatives, which enhanced their knowledge of the services the company offered and provided a greater focus on key clients. Not only did the number of opportunities increase, but in the 12 months since the program was implemented, Ricoh has won a number of significant contracts with some of Australia’s largest businesses.
Peter Jarvis, National Sales Manager, commented ‘With a range of services and capabilities that allow us to compete at the complex, corporate level of document management, we needed to make sure all our sales people transitioned from selling office equipment contracts to genuinely adding value and differentiating our offering, through their ability to engage with senior management and sell our managed document services and a full service offering to the corporate market. We therefore needed to work with a company that was able to design a program tailored for us that properly explained our value proposition and educated our sales people to use it effectively. I was very pleased with both the course design and Prosell’s ability to provide facilitators who connected with our sales team. Prosell’s facilitation helped them articulate our value proposition through the entire sales cycle, from who we contacted and the message we wanted to deliver, right through to presenting our proposition and winning key business. Prosell had the experience to understand how to do this and also how to make sure the training gave the sales teams the tools to implement effectively. We have seen uplift in both the number of major opportunities created and the number of major, full service document management contracts won.