Sales excellence at Atkins
Atkins Global is one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies. They build long-term trusted partnerships to create a world where lives are enriched through the implementation of their ideas. They have created iconic buildings such as the Bahrain World Trade Center and much closer to home – the preparatory engineering work on which the London Olympic park was built. Their impact on East London hasn’t stopped there as Atkins work in partnership with Pathways to Engineering, supporting the local community through internships and permanent employment.
Atkins see sales excellence as vital to the success of their business and that building deeper client relationships and demonstrating a true understanding of their individual requirements is core to achieving greater success.
Finding a sales methodology to help Atkins achieve this encompassed a number of factors. Simon Meekings, L&D business partner for sales excellence - Atkins explains: “The approach that Atkins was looking for was one that was current, befitting a leading organisation such as ours and proven to work in our and other industries.”
Simon goes on to say: “Our selection of supplier was based on the ability of the organisation to support a large implementation across various different countries. And also to provide flexibility so that Atkins could bespoke the content should we need to.” This was in fact the case. The training was highly customised in content and delivery. Material was tailored to support the Atkins business environment as all agreed that the degree of relevance would enhance understanding and support application. Atkins was an early adopter of blended learning from Huthwaite International and used both classroom training and online learning and reinforcement to deploy the new skills model.
Building sales excellence
At the core of Atkins’ criteria for a solution was finding a sales methodology that fits with their ethos. Carrying out diagnostic conversations with clients is intrinsic to the Atkins business and so it was no surprise for them to look for a sales methodology that complemented their natural approach - more a matter of widening the application.
“SPIN® resonates with Atkins because it targets our business developers to have more insightful and progressive conversations. It’s perfect for understanding our clients’ needs and delivering a better provision.” Simon confirms. The adoption of SPIN® isn’t limited to those in direct sales situations and Atkins enrolled engineers and project managers too so they could make use of the questioning framework for their own contextual application.
Sustaining excellence in sales
Classroom training is just the start of the learning journey and Atkins recognised that for real behaviour change to take place on-going support and coaching on the job would be essential for success. One way to reinforce the new skills is by having experts on hand. Atkins decided that the most effective way for them to achieve this was to have their own trainer accredited by Huthwaite and deliver the training themselves. Simon explains: “We opted for having an in house trainer so they could provide their own unique experiences when delivering the training, but also someone that could carry on the learning post event to help with embedding the behaviour into the business.”
Working in partnership
As the old saying goes, people buy from people, here’s Simon view on his involvement with Huthwaite: “It’s been a real pleasure working with Huthwaite. I’ve formed a good working relationship with our account manager and client services coordinator. They have always been approachable, flexible and dedicated to supporting Atkins in getting the best from its investment.”
John Read, Huthwaite Account Manager, responds: “As a supplier, Huthwaite International has felt like a valued partner for the sales excellence programme. It’s been a privilege working with Simon and the rest of the team and I’m very much looking forward to rolling out the SPIN® methodology to other countries and helping them embed it effectively.”
The UK implementation is now complete with some great feedback from delegates. Simon elaborates: “The positive reaction we’ve had from the 400 people who’ve gone through the SPIN® training has led us to look into implementing a worldwide programme.”
Listen to Simon in his own words in a VIDEO TESTIMONIAL.