HSBC - 70% increase in sales
Flexible Minds has worked with the HSBC Invoice Finance Midlands sales team throughout 2010 to increase their sales: the intervention has lead to an increase in sales of over 70%.
At the end of 2009, John Davies, regional sales manager for HSBC learnt that his sales team was being reduced in size and the effective sales target for the remaining team was an increase of 71%. He realised he had no chance of reaching the target unless some radical changes were made. John decided to work with Flexible Minds in a 12 month pilot project to find ways to improve performance.
A series of workshops were held with the thirteen sales team members. The first in October 2009 explained the process and gained everyone's support. At a follow-up workshop in February 2010 every business development manager (BDM) was invited to have individual coaching. This consisted of a weekly 15 minute pre-arranged phone call with Mark Webster, psychotherapist and director of Flexible Minds. Four BDMs accepted the invitation and they started this process between March and June 2010.
The sales team met with Mark Webster every six weeks for a couple of hours and afterwards every BDM had the opportunity to have a private discussion with Mark.
The BDMs were trained in several techniques:
- noticing the difference between unproductive and productive behavior
- noticing which activities gave positive results
- positive reinforcement – explaining why if it is helpful if someone does something
- clarifying values to work and the work-life balance
- building positive relationships
- letting go of issues they can't influence
The latest workshops have enabled the team to work together to solve common problems that are reducing performance.
The results have been outstanding: the sales team's income for 2010 has increased by over 70% compared with the income from the same team members in the same period of 2009. All the other HSBC regional sales teams saw an overall increase in income of just 11%.
Furthermore, the four staff that opted for the individual attention significantly outperformed the other members of the team: all had been at least average performers before the intervention so there was no question of this improvement arising from a low base. To find out what two of them thought, see the views of Anthony Priestnall business development manager (BDM) below and see a personal view of the training from Simon Richards BDM.
John: "I am now encouraging all team members to join the individual program. All my fellow regional sales managers are very interested in what we are doing and I hope that the programme will roll-out across HSBC"
John: "Mark is highly effective at providing the individual coaching because he is both challenging and also totally independent. Staff knew that the conversations were completely confidential and that he had no axe to grind, no preconceived ideas, no agendas. The impact was quite profound."
Anthony: "The training is not like training, it seems like a chat. But it builds in your mind, subliminally, affecting your subconscious. You are given tasks to practice, kind of testing yourself. Then you are given more tasks like building blocks. Suddenly you find yourself doing what you are supposed to be doing."
Anthony: "Cynics will say “we know what we should do and how we should react, get on with it”. The trouble is we don’t get on with it. Flexible Minds’ emphasis is focusing on the goal all the time. We get bogged down in the stuff we don’t need to do. We have to focus on the areas that produce results but we all have problem saying “No” to things. I learnt how to push back and say no. "
Anthony: "I was trained during the second half of 2010. My sales for the second half of 2010 were 200% higher than in the first half. These results included two large sales. I think to myself: is this a fluke? But then these deals had been around for a couple of years: Flexible Minds’ training is what helped me bring them in."
Mark: "Astonishing results are achieved simply by encouraging people to notice the difference between what works and what doesn't work. Once people have learnt to do this for themselves, there is a positive effect on every aspect of their life."