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About The Blackhawk Network

Blackhawk Network connects brands with people through the creation and deployment of innovative employee and customer engagement initiatives.

Their European HQ in Apsley near Hemel Hempstead houses 430 employees.

Chris Ford, Director - Field Sales was tasked with improving sales performance as the business entered a period of significant transformation.

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The Challenge

Blackhawk Network acquired Grass Roots Group in Oct 2016 and as with all acquisitions, a period of change and transformation was inevitable. Part of this change included galvanising the sales team around a new set of products, services and solutions plus instilling a universal methodology that could help improve overall sales performance.

It was obvious that external support was paramount and Blackhawk started looking for a sales training specialist who could provide a sales process methodology and a common language framework that their entire team could follow for optimum efficiency.

 

What We Did

Whilst Blackhawk were considering tenders from four different training providers, what made Pareto stand out was the desire to spend time with the business to understand what the sales team really needed, rather than rolling out a standard sales training programme.

By doing this, we identified the requirement for a methodology which would be effective for selling a large range of different products and services, which would soon be expanding further, and could be followed easily by a sales team of varying styles and experience levels.

Pareto recommended a tried and tested process which would take their team on a journey through the entire process of securing and retaining more business, focussing on sales management for senior staff and the team’s overall selling proficiency.

"I quite enjoy the science of selling and ways of thinking about pains and gains, sector-specific needs and challenges and processes that help move opportunities through the sales funnel in a managed and measured fashion!" - Chris Ford.

I quite enjoy the science of selling and ways of thinking about pains and gains, sector-specific needs and challenges and processes that help move opportunities through the sales funnel in a managed and measured fashion! Chris Ford; Director - Field Sales

 

The Pareto Effect

“Things now move through the pipeline far more efficiently,” explains Chris, “When we now assess an opportunity, from lead through to closure (won or lost), it goes through our process in a much more measured and managed fashion.”

“We now use a common language and the Pareto assessment framework to talk about key opportunities. The framework allows us to quickly recognise our strengths and weaknesses and provides key areas where our positioning, solution or approach can be improved. Importantly the process produces a gap analysis which leads to an action plan that helps to keep opportunities moving along to closure.”

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