Guerbet Increases Win Rates and Exceeds
Revenue Targets Following Implementation of
Miller Heiman Sales Methodology
Why would you want to change the sales process of sales people who have been very successful? Because new competition and cost reduction programs have changed the sales process forever!
That is exactly what has happened at Guerbet, headquartered in Villepinte, France. Guerbet offers a comprehensive range of medical imaging products for X-ray examinations, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Interventional Radiology. Tracing its roots to 1901 Guerbet distributes its products to more than 60,000 health professionals in 70 countries around the globe.
With such longevity and position in the marketplace one would assume that Guerbet’s sales process is well defined and highly effective. However, there have been changes in the market, especially in the way that buying decisions are made. Previously the main customers were medical professionals like radiologists, technicians, and pharmacists. However, today, with the emphasis on healthcare cost-reduction programs, non-traditional decision makers are involved, like finance managers, purchase managers, administrative people and executives, all having very different expectations and buying criteria than medical professionals.
To meet this challenge Guerbet needed to replace its sales process which focused on developing relationships with doctors or radiologists with a value proposition approach for engaging the different business-oriented individuals that were now involved. With this new network of influencers, recommenders and decision makers the Guerbet salespeople needed to adapt their sales approach to retain and increase their dominant market position. According to Eve-Marie Leroy, Head of the Commercial Excellence Unit, “We recognized that a strategic approach to sales and account management was becoming crucial for our sales force to be successful. The salespeople were simply out of their comfort zone in selling to business managers.
“Thus, we began looking at different providers that would be able to deliver international training and consulting with an emphasis on working with these different stakeholders. We needed consulting, training and support that would give us an effective sales process and the tools that could be used immediately
following the workshops with existing sales opportunities. “We knew that Miller Heiman was well-known internationally with methodologies based on best practices in B2B sales. When we looked at their entire portfolio we gained a lot of confidence that Miller Heiman would deliver an exceptional solution.”
Miller Heiman also provided the Strategic Selling® methodology and the associated sales strategy tool, called the Blue Sheet that Guerbet was looking for. The Blue Sheet helps sales professionals develop action plans to successfully sell solutions that require approval from multiple decision makers in the customer’s organization.
Carle Lopez and Frans Coenen, Miller Heiman sales consultants, said, “We started the global rollout of Miller Heiman solutions at Guerbet in January 2011. In the first years we delivered our core methodologies which included Strategic Selling and Conceptual Selling for all their sales force and the Coaching Programs to empower their sales managers. We also provided consulting and implementation support.”
Guerbet wanted to have a single sales methodology deployed around the globe to foster consistency and ensure best practices and communication between country affiliates and Guerbet’s headquarters. The sales workshop had to be localized so that the program could be delivered by local consultants in the local
Guerbet launched the sales methodology in four countries in Europe. In 2012 seven more European countries were added. Afterward it was expanded to Brazil, the US, and South Korea. In 2015 it will be implemented in Mexico. Altogether, over 250 sales reps, sales managers and account managers have
Eve-Marie says, “We expected the programs to have a very positive impact, but what we did not expect is to see the impact so quickly and so strongly. We thought we would have to wait some time before seeing the impact.” Guerbet measures Miller Heiman’s positive impact in a number of different ways.
The first is to have each sales rep implement the Strategic Selling methodology immediately following the sales workshop by creating two Blue Sheets for existing sales opportunities. According to Eve-Marie, “This is a very simple, but
important and crucial metric.”
They also measure each salesperson’s win rate. Eve-Marie says, “Before implementing Strategic Selling the win rate was 49%. Since implementing the Blue Sheets the win rate has climbed to 67%, a very significant improvement.” Another metric Guerbet looks at is the percent of opportunities that exceed the sales target. Before use of the Blue Sheets the percent exceeding targets was 58%; with the Blue Sheet the percent has climbed to 72%.
Eve-Marie likes working with the Miller Heiman people. “The people at Miller Heiman are great at following our progress and measuring how successful selling a solution is for us. The people we work with at Miller Heiman demonstrate skills and expertise in understanding our objectives and giving us advices. We know we are working with professionals.”
Eve-Marie adds, “Miller Heiman has showed us how to go deep into understanding the different stakeholders in our prospects and customers and how to address each. This has allowed us to implement a real customer orientation, a win-win approach if you will. For me, that is essential.
“I would highly recommend Miller Heiman. They have had a very positive and measurable impact on our sales team. We could not have achieved this success without them."