Connecting Business Strategies with Learning Solutions
Your Thinking Partners
  Updating Sales Techniques for a Changing Market
Business Strategy
A leading global consumer products company has for many years focused on excellence in Direct Store Delivery (DSD). Service capability and sales capability are intertwined. On many service visits, there is a potential opportunity to make an incremental sale within the store.

In the early 2000s, this company developed two different frameworks of action steps: one for account service visits and one for sales visits. At the time, members of the ClearBlue team were involved in the development of the sales framework. We created a visual learning tool and a number of role-play exercises to introduce the sales framework to the field.

Fast forward to 2018. DSD excellence is as important as ever. However, the dynamics of service and sales have changed. The sales framework from 15 years ago is as effective as ever – when there is enough time to execute it. Today’s challenge is that retail store managers often have no more than 2 minutes available to speak with a visiting rep.

The response is a new, abbreviated sales framework that can be deployed in 2 minutes at the end of an account service visit.

ClearBlue was asked to join the team of company executives and other vendors charged with introducing the new framework to the field.

Learning Solution
ClearBlue partnered with our client team and provided input to other vendor partners in the development of the following set of learning activities:
 
  • Introductory script and presentation content for a kickoff at the field leaders meeting 
  • Scripting and some visual content for a Brainshark® online micro learning module 
  • Design of a role-play game activity that could be deployed in 20 minutes, supporting a fast introduction of the updated selling techniques to field representatives nationwide.
  

  

 Communicating a Milestone Customer Service Strategy  

   
Business Strategy
One of the nation's largest manufacturing and distribution companies has grown its selling capability to world class status, and now is focusing its entire operation on serving customers. The service initiative involves a comprehensive redesign of its entire supply chain operation, from the work that occurs in the plants and warehouses to the processes for resolving customer problems after they have received product.

The response is a comprehensive "Service Model" which identifies the major operational steps, along with specific success metrics and responsibilities for each. The model, while complete, is also somewhat dense with information. The learning goal was to engage 36,000 employees in the benefits of the changes, and the interconnectivity of everyone in the company. To do this, the company had to find a way to communicate the information clearly, and to create enthusiasm for this major milestone in the company's history.

  
Learning Solution
ClearBlue partnered with our client team and helped direct other vendor partners to develop an ambitious and comprehensive employee engagement program and spectacular learning event for this service initiative. First, a large scale, show-business style event introduced the initiative to the company's entire market unit leadership team. 500 at a time, managers arrived at an exciting and authentic "World Premiere" event. The managers participated in a three-part learning activity, created by ClearBlue. The activity centered around a visual of the Service Model that was brought to life through graphics and illustration. Table teams answered questions and explored the visual to learn about customer needs, operational changes and their benefits, and the interconnectivity of roles. 

After the activity, teams participated in a ClearBlue-developed, poker-style "Winning Hand" card game - a unique approach to certification and testing of knowledge. Teams answered review questions to compete for chips and the best poker hand. Winning teams took home prizes to remind them of the day, which concluded with a rewarding "casino" night to add to the excitement. ClearBlue also facilitated the process of cascading the training throughout the company by developing and implementing online ''webinars.'' These webinars trained 4,000 facilitators throughout the organization. Ultimately, all employees received a consistent message and a clear understanding of this important company initiative and their role in it (they also earned great prizes and had fun in the process).
  
  
  Keeping and Growing Diverse Talent Through Integrated Processes 
Business Strategy
The cost of recruitment, relocation, and compensation for outside professional hires increases every year. This price tag has a significant impact on the budget of every organization, particularly those with a worldwide base requiring specialized technical capabilities. One such global manufacturing leader has the strategic intent to reverse its traditional imbalance which favors outside hires, and to ensure that a significant majority of its professional positions will be filled from within. As a result, this highly-respected organization is focused on growing the skills and capabilities of its diverse workforce and retaining its valued college recruits. 

The company, a recent award-winner for its business ethics, understands that diverse, capable people deliver new solutions, on-time work, and high quality. Recognizing the critical nature of development to this effort, the company conducted an extensive needs assessment and identified and prioritized opportunities for improvement in its processes such as: succession planning, high-potential employee identification, on-boarding and recruiting. A need for a competency model which would link to corporate values and performance management was also identified.

Learning Solution
ClearBlue was retained in the early stages of this effort and our participation continues as thinking and ongoing development partners. Our first step was to partner with Human Resource and Organizational Development executives to create an integrated Human Capital Architecture that organized the components of both Talent Acquisition and Talent Management. We then outlined the development efforts required to bridge the identified gaps in each.

We next designed a multi-day retreat for Human Resources and other corporate executives that included interactive team exercises designed to initiate specific projects around several levels of Employee Development, both in the near term and for the future.
We also collaborated with senior HR executives to lay the foundation for a multi-year Executive Development program which will create a succession plan for the senior-most positions in the company. 


Our initial enterprise-wide training effort has created a business partnership between HR and other managers in the planning and execution of an extensive annual organizational development review process - designed to match organizational capabilities to business needs, and including virtually every facet of individual development, placement, and resource planning.
  
  ​A "Behind the Scenes" Look at Organization-Wide Role Clarity ​
Business Strategy
When most customers walk into their neighborhood banking center, they hope for short lines, quick service and experienced employees who can take care of all of their needs. What few customers think about is how a mega-bank ensures that every location runs smoothly
and consistently. One global financial institution recently realigned all of its banking center jobs and roles for maximum customer satisfaction. As a result, it needed tens of thousands of employees to fully understand and embrace the changes in their day-to-day work
responsibilities.

The learning challenge was multi-faceted:
  • The bank required a "cascade" approach - the messages and learning around role clarity had to start with the Managers and Assistant Managers. The leader team for each banking center needed to be aligned and enabled to deliver the message of role clarity, train their locations on the changes, and coach their people through the transformation.
  • The training had to be engaging and unique - everything about the initiative had to communicate the importance the organization placed on the changes taking place.
  • The methods had to draw the managers in, hold their attention, and ensure the learning would "stick."
  • The experience needed to be consistent company-wide. All managers had to hear the same message and the program was required to produce consistent learning outcomes across a very large population.

Learning Solution
ClearBlue partnered with this organization to create an event for the management teams based on the concept of a "behind the scenes TV studio tour." This day of training consisted of a series of "game shows," in which learners participated in highly interactive modules that
moved them through the process of knowledge building, coaching and leadership skill practice and cumulative application activities. The game shows used themes such as "What's My Line," Reality TV, and "Whose Role is it Anyway?" to engage participants. 


Music, interactive video and high quality studio props were added to give the program an up-to-the-minute feel and communicate the value the bank placed on the effort. 
A consistent experience was achieved by "engineering" the program to require minimal facilitator expertise. The activities were designed to run the same way each of the many times it was conducted, with the materials and design ensuring the learning outcomes were always achieved. A train-the-trainer program supported facilitators by preparing them to use the materials and to understand the program flow.

Results of the program have been outstanding. Level l scores have exceeded expectations with averages above 4.5 out of 5. Level 2 scores have averaged 81 with scores of 91 or better out of 100. These results are among the highest ever achieved for this population. 

Contact us TODAY  to explore ways for us to help your business!