SPIN® helps make the right connections at Lucent Technologies

Client Case Study - Lucent Technologies July 1999

Examining your company’s sales skills and introducing a skills development programme is often the catalyst for taking a broader look at how the organisation operates as a whole and what it could do to improve its effectiveness.

Lucent Technologies is one of the world’s leading designers, developers and manufacturers of a wide range of public and private networks, communications systems and software, data networking systems, business telephone systems and microelectronics components. Its GSM Division located in Swindon, UK found that by examining blocks to the successful implementation of SPIN® Selling Skills it was able to start to encourage a change in both process and culture.

In a fast moving, aggressive telecommunications infrastructure market, multimillion dollar products are designed to meet industry standards. Lucent GSM recognises the need to design, develop and deliver a differentiated product offering that meets industry standards in this highly competitive marketplace.

The company has recruited over 2,000 employees since 1996 from around the industry, who have brought with them different ways of working. A need to harmonise these working practices was identified and some U.S. members of senior management had already experienced SPIN® Selling Skills and the added value that it could bring.

Huthwaite International began by first delivering pilot programmes of SPIN® Selling Skills to Lucent GSM salespeople. At the end of the first programme Huthwaite sought feedback from the delegates in order to identify potential blocks to the effectiveness of the training. Huthwaite also suggested a consolidated SPIN® Selling and Account Strategy for Major Sales (ASMS) programme for the senior management team to try and address some of these blocks. This included a day considering the feedback from the pilot programme and examined strategies for making the training even more effective.

The management team’s participation in the training also demonstrated their commitment to the training and the development of a consistent sales approach.

As Dave Templeton, Planning and Business Manager at Lucent Technologies GSM says: “The work which Huthwaite is doing, is helping us establish a shared language and common method of working. We are involved in team selling with different people joining the team at different points of the sale. This can become a highly complex project management task. The SPIN® Selling Skills programme has highlighted the absolute necessity to understand the customers’ needs and some of the interpersonal and behavioural attributes that we need to adopt. The ASMS programme has highlighted the need for timely and structured reporting to enable the team to work more effectively and efficiently, and to present a consistent face to the customer.”