RSA embarked on a large scale programme to change the dynamics of its sales function. The focus of its effort was the tripartite relationship between account management teams, underwriters and the brokers who make up its customer base.
Jim Reeve was appointed to lead the project for RSA. “We knew more or less what we wanted from a learning programme and approached five companies for proposals. Solution Cell clearly understood the brief and developed a programme for us,” he says.
In contrast to larger training companies, Solution Cell’s approach is to understand the clients specific needs and aims, then they design something bespoke, rather than try to adapt a template process.
It may have seemed a risk to place such a large programme (working with the sales and underwriting teams over two years, across the UK and Europe) with a single partner, but their determination to find the right answer for RSA gave Solution Cell’s team the edge.
“They had the experience, the capacity and the willingness to develop something just for us,” recalls Jim, who says that the pitch hung together better not only because it was tailored, but also because Solution Cell did not presume to say it had the whole answer. “They were clearly more flexible than other companies and appeared willing to work with us to develop the programme,” he said.
Jim Reeve clearly appreciates a working relationship with suppliers that is more akin to a partnership. “My natural style is collaborative and when you’re delivering a programme like this you’ve got to participate to be certain that the team knows what you want and where you are going from the outset.”
As part of its culture change programme, RSA was already developing the relationship between account teams and underwriters who, as is often the case, were not always closely aligned. It had developed a base learning module, the Art of Sales at RSA, and recognised that it needed to invest in its people to help address perceived weaknesses in the delivery of its operating effectiveness.
Although Solution Cell’s programme was highly tailored to RSA, it was far from inflexible. Following early feedback, the team fine-tuned the content to improve its impact. The feedback from participants has been outstanding. “They’ve done it better than others,” admits Jim, “and they’ve managed to increase the impact by training our managers first in the key behaviours we need them to reinforce.”
“We’re already seeing our people as more dynamic. They’re more collaborative, and at the same time willing to take personal responsibility,” says Jim Reeve. “They’re more focused and have the hunger that all good sales teams need.”
Jim Reeve, RSA