Every time I see a doughnut or a muffin, it brings me back to my project at Dawn Foods. The American leader in pastry ingredients and products.

Dawn wanted to set up an effective sales team to generate sales and spread the brand in Europe. Growth in sales and brand awareness was the focus. Sales were stagnating and the efforts of the current sales team were not up to standards. Dawn is a family company and they wanted to see if there was a possibility to train the current team up. They do not give up on people that fast. I actually love that about Dawn and how the family was actually very open to see and grow potential talent.

I was asked to step in to set up an effective HR plan to guide the sales team in their team and personal development to reach sales targets ( 20% up at the end of the year) The sales team was actually very excited and relieved. They had feared they would lose their job.

  1. I asked them for input. Because the sales team was located all over Europe, I made the best of it by setting up calls for in-depth interviews with all individual sales employees. The interviews gave a first overview of the performance, competence, personal and team ambition and how change and transition were seen at.
  2. Turned out all salespeople knew exactly all the information needed about their market, customers and were very well aware of their talents. They just felt as if they needed to spend more time on all the stuff they knew needed to be done but did not get energy from.
  3. Every day sales had to go on, so I took advantage of a trade show in Barcelona at which the entire sales team would be present. I flew out and had a workshop session with the team. Results were stunning: we actually discovered there is a great amount of team spirit, empathy and desire to learn from each other and talents of individual team members were complimentary!

Results

Results were all agreeing to help each other with personal and team and sales development. Resulting in a  competence /performance/sales/ learning and development house with a 12-month plan. And yes, sales did go up by 20 %. So next time you decide to buy in training etc…. Perhaps you can considering changing traditional ways and use my different way of getting sales up? It might amaze you:)