A powerful offering from Huron Associates based on 10 years of engagement with Steelcase Dealers in over 15 markets and the Steelcase Sales Community of Practice.
Steelcase has been promoting to the dealer network for over 20 years some form of the “space matters” message, and has expanded the categories of its products to Architecture, Furniture, and Technology to deliver this message.
Further, they have promoted Healthcare & Education vertical markets, as well as a new partnership with Microsoft to sell the Surface Hub in the workplace.
To be successful, these strategies (specific verticals & technology) require a sales force that is ready, willing, and able to engage in solution selling.
In a recent poll of nine Steelcase markets, over 70% of all dealer & Steelcase sales time is spent with clients after a project has been won.
Of the time that is spent prior to closing a deal (30%), 66% of that time is spent identifying and responding to RFPs issued primarily by A&D firms. In most of those cases, you are up against four to six other competitors.
To have any chance to move out of the commoditized furniture market, space needs to matter, and the dealer needs to be the one to make it matter. For dealers to help their clients understand specifically how space can matter for them requires a solution-based sales framework. The majority of Steelcase dealers are executing a 30 year-old productbased sales model and relying on A&D partners to make that case that space matters. This approach yields a 20% – 35% win rate at increasingly smaller margins.
Implementing a solution-based sales framework is a complex organizational development challenge. The barriers to solving this issue can be categorized into five categories: Strategy, Structure, Controls, Culture, and Capability. The solution involves at least the three legs of Sales Management, Salesforce Development, and Sales Force Compensation.
Build a system that enables and promotes a “problem solving” based sales model vs a product selling-based sales model to combat commoditization and margin erosion.
Enabled sales people to recapture the time they spend after the deal is won so they can be in the market.
Interact with targeted clients to facilitate them through discovering how space can matter to them and how the dealer can deliver on their vision.
Build the support structure, culture, and tools for the sales organization to shift from the traditional product sales approach to a solution-based selling approach.
Equip sales managers with the mindset, skill set, and tools to develop, lead, and reward a high-performing, solutions-based sales team.
Introduce a decision framework (Milestone Driven Selling) that enables all parties to the sales process to focus on the right thing at the right time and maximize return on time invested.
Align sales force compensation to installed gross profit, drive to high standards of sales performance, reduce the variance in compensation between similarly performing reps and enable the dealership to attract top sales talent.