Hill-Rom and Huthwaite combine expertise

Huthwaite clients often have highly developed marketing capabilities running smoothly within their organisations. Where this is the case it makes sense to combine the Huthwaite sales approach with the client’s internal marketing expertise to maximise the effectiveness of the programmes. This was certainly true recently with Hill-Rom.

A global market leader in the provision of uniquely specialised beds for the healthcare sector, Hill-Rom had applied Huthwaite’s SPIN® training programmes across its European companies on a country-by-country basis.

Hill-Rom beds provide mobilisation management for severely compromised hospital patients, and rely on high levels of the latest medical technology research to satisfy this most demanding need. The beds are complex items, yet are difficult to patent, as bed functions are increasingly viewed as commodity items. The Hill-Rom sales teams have two overriding tasks, to overcome the threats from copy beds, and to establish in the minds of purchasers the unique value differentiators of the Hill-Rom bed.

When the time came to launch a new high-tech bed, the AvantGuard, designed specifically for the European health market, Hill-Rom decided to work closely with Huthwaite in designing the product launch workshops.

"We developed our latest European product launch in consultation with Huthwaite, and created customised sales and training materials in four languages: German, Italian, French and English", explains Andy Jones, Hill-Rom’s sales training manager.

"We wanted to introduce the new products, using problemsolving and value propositions, rather than the more traditional approach of presenting features and capabilities". Huthwaite has shown such feature dumping can actually make the sale more difficult to achieve.

Jones went on to say: "We have already seen a positive reaction from the European sales teams to this new format, and as well as being enthused, they are also better prepared than ever to compete for business."

Hill-Rom is global market leader in electric beds for hospital patients, and as such were pleased to work with Huthwaite on this key European strategic initiative. "Having trained people to use the SPIN® framework for over two years, I wholeheartedly recommend its use for sales consultants and marketing communications specialists alike, especially where the sales are complex and of high-value", said Jones.

"Support from Huthwaite consultants, like Ian Newall, has been invaluable in refining and integrating our ideas, as well as making sure that all our, sometimes disparate, needs were met seamlessly."