At the 2019 Executive Forum, Aamir Paul (Country President–U.S., Schneider Electric) shared the four investments that are key to achieving long-term success and sustainability.
Schneider Electric asked themselves, “How do we make sure that as the market changes, our commercial organization evolves with the same rigor and pace?” To help answer that question, they started with three megatrends: Digitalization–an incredible change for everyone and in everything we use every day; Electrification–the biggest energy transformation in the last 20-40 years; and Solution-Efficiency–stop trying to solve problems that don’t need to be solved anymore, but instead look to the future and help the planet.
“Culture happens when no one is looking.” Schneider Electric realized that to invest in culture, the organization also had to define what culture included. It meant putting the customer first, daring to be disruptive, embracing differences, learning something new every day and taking ownership. After applying this new definition, they implemented new metrics to evaluate leaders against how well they champion this new culture and to create buy-in from the top down.
Customer experience matters. With a culture focused on putting the customer first, it was easy to invest in a new go-to-customer model. “It’s not the end of a sale–it’s the beginning of a relationship.” That is how everyone as Schneider Electric now looks at each customer and each sale. Aamir asked the audience, Why is it ok to finish the sale and walk away? You need to invest in the relationship today so that it lasts the next 50 years. Learn what the customer needs and then provide the solution–not the other way around.
Most leaders fall into the trap of having too many tools and not offering continuous training to their teams. The result is a lack of prioritization and an inventory of tools that no longer add value. Selecting a leader to handle tool proliferation and training is important. “If you want to drive the car around the track, you need to be committed to building the car.”
Customers’ goals and expectations have changed. Therefore, sales leader goals must also change. To do this, engagement needs to occur earlier in the sales cycle. With a more informed customer base, sellers must shift their mindset and treat customers as knowledgeable partners. For example, Schneider Electric’s customers today are more environmentally conscious; therefore, Schneider’s sales leaders and solutions must dovetail with this new consciousness.
For a more in-depth discussion of this and other insights garnered from the 2019 Executive Forum, contact us to schedule a briefing.