With such a strong a global presence, acknowledged leadership in its field, and $1.8 billion in annual revenue, few people would fault the leadership of Invensys Operations Management for playing it safe and staying the course.
But as any business veteran knows, it's easier to get to the top of the mountain than it is to stay there, and that's why the company's leadership made the decision to upgrade the quality of its sales organization in 2007.
The company was created through a series of acquisitions and, as a result, had five separate sales organizations that exclusively sold their own lines of products.
"Not only was it confusing for our customers to have five salespeople from the same company calling on them -- each with a different product to sell -- but we knew that we weren't taking advantage of our installed base or maximizing the value of what we brought to the marketplace," said Phil Clark, senior vice president, Global Sales & Marketing Operations.
Clark realized that Invensys would never reach its full potential without a structural and philosophical overhaul of the entire sales organization. Rather than focusing on the features and benefits of individual product lines, he wanted his sales force to become consultative solution sellers who were comfortable discussing any and all of the products and services in the Invensys portfolio.
"My assessment was that if Invensys was going to become a solution seller, we would need to consolidate the sales forces and learn to sell in a different way," Clark said. "I wanted the sales team to be confident enough to have a discussion that was oriented on solving the client's business problem, and then use the portfolio to create growth through bigger deals. That kind of change requires a lot of training and reeducation, especially among the sales leadership."
To help guide Invensys through its transformation, Clark enlisted the help of Ninety Five 5.
"I had worked with Ninety Five 5 at a previous company and had been very impressed with the focus of their work -- helping the client succeed -- because I think it's the only true way to success," Clark said. "Other consultants were too mechanical, whereas Ninety Five 5 focuses on the actual client, which gets to the heart of where the customer wants to go."
Ninety Five 5 CEO Randy Illig knew that Invensys Operations Management's top priority would be an increase in profitable sales—the lifeblood of any successful company—but he also knew some fundamental changes would have to be made before that could happen.
"Invensys set out on an ambitious plan to break down the silos in its sales organization and retrain its sales force to sell in a completely different way," Illig said.
"The salespeople worked hard and were very knowledgeable, but sometimes their focus wasn't on the right thing,: he added. "No matter how hard you work, if you aren't doing the right things, you won't achieve a good return for the effort you put in. At the end of the day, salespeople succeed when they help their clients succeed. It's a simple concept, but it consistently produces exceptional results."
Over the next five months, Illig and the Ninety Five 5 team coached Invensys sales leaders weekly to improve coaching skills and team execution.
Nothing convinces like success. And today Invensys' impressive sales performance is proof that clients were heard and understood. By selecting Invensys products and services in record numbers, clients voted with their budgets. They confirmed that "The Invensys Way," a client-focused sales strategy co-developed with Ninety Five 5, unlocks continued success for Invensys and their clients.
Invensys Operations Management Quick Facts:
With $1.8 billion in annual revenue, 9,000 employees worldwide and clients in more than 180 countries, Invensys Operations Management literally powers the world.
The company helps:
• Generate 24 percent of the world's electricity
• Produce 25 percent of the world's chemicals
• Produce 70 percent of the world's liquefied natural gas
• Refine 18 percent of the world's crude oil
• Runs 37 percent of the world's nuclear power plants
Headquartered in Plano, Texas, Invensys Operations Management's solutions are used by more than 40,000 clients around the world in more than 225,000 plants and facilities.
The company designs, manufactures, installs, tests and commissions software and computer-based hardware for the automation and regulation of industrial and facility operations, the management of certain administrative functions of manufacturing businesses, and simulation of manufacturing process operations.
Its 9,000 employees and the company's global partner ecosystem integrate these products and services to help clients collaborate across systems and enterprises in real time, extracting critical data to make faster, better decisions and synchronize their operations from the plant floor to the executive offices, aligning production goals with business objectives.