José Miguel Caras (J.M.C)
Training and Development Manager
Miguel Ángel García Torrente (M.A.G.T)
Valentín Nomparte (V.N)
Partner at Moebius Consulting
Susana Quintas (S.Q)
Learning Strategy Manager
At the Bank of Santander, we are growing accustomed to evolving our sales strategies in response to changes in the market and our customers’ needs, and communicating those new strategies to our sales network. In the area of Corporate Clients, we currently face the challenge of introducing a new sales system that requires strong involvement from their teams to implement successfully. But, reaching the desired level of involvement using traditional tactics proves to be an insurmountable challenge.
For this reason, we made the strategic decision to become certified in the application of new sales methodology through an independent entity. To ensure the success of this venture, we also proposed a different training and implementation system, one that is in line with the new digital reality and uses enjoyable methodologies that foster participation and conversation. We also recognize the importance of using a tool that distinguishes the company manager as a leader in his or her team’s development.
With the support of our partner, Moebius Consulting, we have put our ideas into practice, using the learning platform JVSP. The result: “Making a Customer: Companies and SMEs”
What is “Making a Customer: Companies and SMEs”?
“Making a Customer: Companies and SMEs” is a training program whose principal objective is to introduce a new sales model in Santander Spain for the Company Clients Area. The new model aims to establish a new way for the sales team to operate that offers greater value to customers and has a positive impact on business results.
How is this program different from similar initiatives?
This is not the first time we face a challenge of this kind, and it is not the first sales model deployed in the bank. Our sales network is quite senior—it has a lot of experience and has developed its sales activity through different models.
In the past, however, the deployment of a sales model was done in a more traditional manner – through cascading face-to-face workshops. That is, Sales Management trained District Managers, who trained the Business Center Managers, who in turn, trained the Business Managers.
This way of deploying the model guaranteed that the message was transmitted quickly; but, since the only thing received is the message, it becomes diluted after a few days and does not resonate with the sales team. This kind of training does not result in teams internalizing the new way of working; it does not allow sales staff the time to get to know the new systems or tools, nor does it make them realize how these new features provide an advantage to the customer or the business.
Therefore, our challenge is to find a comprehensive training solution that yields results and inspires a team with a lot of experience to learn something new.
So this time, we set out to do something more far-reaching, over a longer time, to achieve a greater impact. In “Making a Customer: Companies and SMEs,” the Corporate Clients Director at each branch is key—they are the true protagonists of the Program. They are responsible for bringing the model to the team; but they are not alone. We are with them in this process, so they can do it with guaranteed success.
We work with the Corporate Clients Director in face-to-face workshops, where we delve deeper into the model and give them tools to transfer it to their teams through the development of their dynamization skills. The methodology that we have used is very innovative, and we have placed the contents in the hands of the participants through their mobile phones.
What role does the Training Department play in the project?
In this case, the Sales Management of Santander Spain Corporate Clients is the one who poses the challenge: How can we get the new model to reach 800 salespeople and get them to change their way of working? Training and Development proposes innovative solutions to the business’ needs, and between both, a program is designed.
This is a relationship between partners, where the business supplies the content and pushes the Office Managers to be the true agents of change, while Training and Development designs the methodology and chooses the most innovative solution to encourage implementation of the model.
It is important to consider that nowadays, we all have profiles on social networks and we constantly provide or consume content; we all look for information on the Internet or learn from YouTube videos. If our employees already do this to develop their self-learning, it is necessary for the Training and Development teams to design aligned and distinct experiences.
What are the keys to the success for this project?
The relationship between the Business and the Training and Development Department is key to the success of a project of this type. In this case, it is a relationship of partners who design a solution together and work on it to achieve the best possible reslts.
Beyond the necessity of a functional relationship, the Corporate Clients’ Directors are instrumental to the proper implementation of the new model, since their role is to drive change and their participation is a fundamental aspect of the Program.
But, this is not only about training, it is about careful analysis to determine if the expected results are achieved. It is important to set and measure KPIs to conclude whether new model’s implementation was successful. Here, we are measuring: business results, customer experience, and implementation of new sales methodologies and behaviors.
Before launching the Program, an initial test was run to find the starting point of these measures. Upon finishing the Program, the Office Managers will carry out an internal audit. It is our hope that AENOR conducts its audit by the end of the year.
So far, we see that managers are very involved with the project and are working well in their centers. The use of an innovative methodology is what is grabbing the participants’ attention.
How was the content prepared?
The content was created based on a character called “The Guru” In the different videos, a team from Corporate Clients Business faces everyday situations, and with a touch of humor, meets the sales challenges through the use of the new model’s tools and sales system.
The content of the training is well-adapted to the everyday reality of the sales team. The program is organized into four challenges: a new way of working (about the model and the roles of the team members), the customer experience, the business plan, and profitability.
We use JVSP, a collaborative learning platform that encourages participant engagement through gamification and conversation to ensure team members are as invested in the process as possible. It is incredible how profiles with so much expertise can adapt to new methodologies. It is clear that designing a program that is both fun and well-adapted to business is not irreconcilable.
What does Moebius bring to this program?
Moebius’ experience developing sales teams and their knowledge of the sector have been invaluable factors in designing course content that is adaptable to the reality of the sales team. The Mobius team speaks with the sales team on equal terms, understands their problems, and gives them solutions to improve their business results. The design of attractive content – delivered using an innovative methodology – has truly engaged the participants.
Why is the methodology they are using distinctive?
The Program is structured in four challenges, each with a duration of two weeks, during which the participants access various content and activities: the series chapter, a video where a consultant comments on the chapter and the main lessons, and a master class with more “theoretical” content.
To amplify the impact, during each challenge, the Office Manager carries out a training session with his or her team and presents a challenge in the workplace, such as designing a business plan for a customer or preparing his or her office’s SWOT analysis. This encourages participants to apply the content of each challenge to their workplace.
The participants can access course content and activities through JVSP. Everything that happens on the platform generates points for the users: viewing content, participating in debates, or receiving a like from a partner or the instructor. The ranking rewards both individual work and the social contribution of the participants. This type of rank-based initiative works well with sales networks, giving rise to a healthy competition.
If 90% of learning is produced through conversations (social learning) and experiences in the workplace (learning by doing), then why not shine a light upon this type of experience? This is what we have done in “Making a Customer: Companies and SMEs”: created realistic workplace training, while allowing participants to share their experiences with each other.
Debate is also particularly enriching for the learning process. This is why a debate is proposed to the participants in each activity, which is overseen by a tutor and by an expert in each topic.
Finally, the process of creating the scripts for the series is a distinguishing element; business experts, who accompanied managers and directors on real visits, participated in the design of the script, as did screenwriters. We have tried to add touches of humor, so that the participants remember the key messages. We have a guru and a magic medallion as key elements of the series.
What are participating sales teams saying about the Program?
The results are very positive: data shows participation is very high and participant evaluations have been fantastic. Participants express appreciation that the content is so “grounded” in their reality. They also feel the method of presenting the data is more innovative, and they consider it a much more fun and efficient way to learn.
More than 50% of participants access the platform through their mobile phone or tablet. Participants note the value of having such easy access, since it allows them to take advantage of free moments between visits to customers by working on their training.
Implementation of this program is proving to be a completely disruptive experience. The series is scheduled to end in November, but who knows? After this first season, there just might be a second!