Thursday, June 23, 2016

News: Huthwaite highlights heroes of business

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Huthwaite International, the market leading behaviour change consultancy based in Rotherham, has found that sales skills are overlooked and undervalued in all industries except retail.

Based at Wentworth and specialising in consulting and training on all aspects of sales, the company works with major blue chip companies across the world including Rezidor, Dell, Motorola, UPS and Zurich Insurance.

The company was founded in 1974 by Neil Rackham and researchers Linda Marsh and Simon Bailey, who set out to discover what verbal behaviours were most commonly used by people to achieve the greatest degree of success when selling and negotiating, compared with those who were only average performers.

A recent study by YouGov with Huthwaite International sought to find out what decision makers from a range of sectors thought of their departments and which departments were considered "the heroes" of the business.

While sales came out top for those in retail on 34%, across all industries surveyed sales slipped to third place (24%), behind research and development on 32% and production and manufacturing on 26%.

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Tony Hughes, CEO at Huthwaite International (pictured), said: "Businesses operating in the retail sector understand that sales are crucial, but other industries still don't seem to give credit where credit is due. Possibly they believe that services and products just sell themselves, which is certainly not the case.

"Skilled salespeople build value for the product or service they sell, working with customers to understand their needs and how these needs can best be served. It's not a one-size-fits-all approach, but a tailored and consultative effort that is essential to success in all industries."

At the other end of the scale, procurement and HR came joint last, each being named as heroes of businesses by only 9% of respondents.

Hughes added: "Procurement continues to suffer from a serious reputation problem when it comes to how it's viewed by the rest of the business. Research we conducted in 2013 showed that procurement's image within the business is negative overall and it seems not much has improved over the last few years.

"Sales can make their own lives easier – and also help to make procurement look good to their colleagues – by ensuring that they clearly articulate the customer benefits of what they are selling and ensure at least some of these benefits are expressed in terms that enhance the value to procurement.

"Also, by involving procurement earlier in the process, salespeople can help them communicate the value of what is being sold to the wider business. The closer salespeople can get to the procurement department the better, both for salespeople to do their job and for procurement to improve their image in the business."

Huthwaite International currently delivers sales and negotiation skills training across all six continents and in 35 languages. It trains some 14,000 people each year. The company reported a turnover of £8m for 2015 and 75% of sales are from overseas.

Huthwaite International website

Images: Huthwaite International

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