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Frontier Strategy Group’s investment in sales training pays off with record revenues
In less than three years, the Washington, D.C.-based startup Frontier Strategy Group saw its annual revenues triple by providing corporations strategic decision support on emerging markets. That early success gained the firm a lot of attention.

“We needed a clear methodology globally to be able to have very symmetrical conversations about the business and to find what potential business was out there as we moved to a scalable model.”

It also provided the young decision support company a tremendous opportunity to expand its global footprint and thus continue its growth spurt on an exponential basis. Understanding the important role sales would play in that expansion, and realizing the need for everyone worldwide to “speak the same language,” the company’s leadership decided to make a strategic investment in sales training and development.

In fact, according to Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales & Operations Todd Marcelle, establishing consistency across departments through a sales methodology was the No. 1 strategic priority for 2011.

“First and foremost, we had a desire to be a best-in-class sales organization,” Marcelle explained. “When you look at other businesses that successfully scale for growth, a constant variable in each is an investment in the people and the process.”

“We needed a clear methodology globally to be able to have symmetrical conversations about the business and to find what potential business was out there as we moved to a scalable model.”

The company chose ValueSelling Associates to fulfill that important business objective.

Frontier Strategy Group primarily provides decision support to companies looking to do business in emerging markets where corporations lack a depth of knowledge.

Frontier Strategy Group is committed to helping senior executives in emerging markets make better, faster decisions.

a program-based approach The tailored program for Frontier Strategy Group consisted of:

Inside Sales Pilot

They observed a spike in the number of sales and renewals almost immediately

Company-wide Rollout

Including everyone within the organization: Sales and Marketing, Product Development, Research, Operations and Human Resources

McAninch initially did a pilot training program for the inside sales team in Washington, D.C. Almost immediately, he started to be included on interoffice emails showing a spike in the number of sales and renewals. McAninch returned a couple of months later to train the rest of the company.

Everyone within the organization – from the CEO to sales and marketing, product develop- ment, research, operations and human resources – learned how to better communicate and strengthen relationships using the ValueSelling Framework®.

Importantly, Marcelle was consistent in advancing ValueSelling throughout the corporate cul- ture, rather than keeping it isolated to his sales teams.

“He’s done a great job of being consistent and deliberate about doing things to help his teams form the best practice habits needed to understand how they can deliver the most value through ValueSelling," McAninch said.

Within weeks of implementing the new sales methodology to differentiate itself in the market- place, FSG began seeing a surge in individual wins. It secured companies like Nestlé, Pepsi, UPS and Tiffany’s, to name a few.

Those gains translated into a stronger- than-expected fourth quarter, with an increase in conversion rates. This success translated to an increase of 32% quarter over quarter in new business — a substantial increase for the firm.

Now six months into post-training, the latest quarter appears to be tracking even bet- ter, with business within one team out of Europe and Africa at 128% of goal and anoth- er, based in Latin America, at 121%. Combined, these sales teams have helped create the largest pipeline in company history.

Indeed, FSG’s investment in ValueSelling continues to pay off.

Rogelio Caceres, the regional sales VP for Latin America, was behind in his sales goal when he underwent the ValueSelling training and immediately embraced the method- ology. He ended that quarter over goal and broke the record for new business sales for the company.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about having the ability to think of a game- changing," Marcelle said. “For us, it was how to scale our business through people and process. We think that ValueSelling provides a structured sales methodolo- gy that allows you to invest in your people and develop a world-class process that you and your people can believe in. “Your people are inspired and passionate about what you do — and what they do too.”

Importantly, Marcelle was consistent in advancing ValueSelling throughout the corporate culture, rather than keeping it isolated to his sales teams.“He’s done a great job of being consistent and delib- erate about doing things to help his teams form the best practice habits needed to understand how they can deliver the most value through ValueSelling,” McAninch said.

INCREASED CONVERSION RATES/ NEW BUSINESS WINS IN CONSECUTIVE QUARTERS

% OF GOALS ACROSS REGION