Case Study: ConfidentSpeak and Doehler

The Background

Doehler UK is a global producer and provider of technology-based natural ingredients, and integrated solutions for the food and beverage industry.

Doehler UK operates in a highly competitive and ever changing market and, of course, given the prevailing political and economic climate, Brexit is an additional concern.

The UK sales team were operating well and maintaining targets. They were an experienced team with talent but the Managing Director felt that the team had greater untapped potential and his vision was to equip the entire team with confidence and polish to exceed expectations with their sales targets – but do so without increasing stress and anxiety on their existing time-pressured schedules.

The Managing Director was keen to provide a supportive environment for them to excel within their client presentations and meetings, and to ultimately help them achieve business growth. The sales team had received excellent technical and other training but had not received training in the crafting and delivery of powerful messaging. Therefore this was unchartered territory both for the sales team and for ConfidentSpeak, since it was our first programme to design and deliver for the company.

They chose to work with ConfidentSpeak, in part due to our portfolio of successful work with Sales Directors and Sales teams in another Global Ingredients & Flavourings company.

The Problem Worth Solving

There were a number of challenges that the Doehler UK team wanted to overcome.

Because the team operated autonomously, there were mixed abilities and mixed approaches to message crafting, planning and delivery. This created uncertainty around the company’s communications “best practices”, and as a result there was a lack of consistency and of a supportive culture in terms of preparing for customer/client meetings.

Time pressures often led to a “wing it” approach. It was also the business culture to deliver only the stock corporate presentation and account managers were not encouraged to tailor communications for specific customers befitting each meeting and communication.

Face time with customers – both existing customers and future prospects – was limited, and therefore the Doehler UK sales team found it difficult to deliver concise, clear messages which resonated and moved the sales process efficiently forward in a positive direction.

The ConfidentSpeak Approach

At ConfidentSpeak we work on a bespoke and staged basis. We never adhere to the “one size fits all” approach.

We needed to clearly define the results the management team of Doehler UK wished to achieve: their “vision of success”. If we were going to achieve the “vision of success”, we needed to understand the working environment of the company’s sales team.

The project starting with our Training Needs Analysis to identify all challenges and requirements. This entailed pre-planning discussions with both Doehler UK’s Country Sales Managing Director and the company’s Head of HR. Sales Team Account Directors and Account Managers were asked for their input through detailed online surveys.

It was key to identify the communication challenges facing the team and to identify individual challenges to help design the programme. This information was collated through confidential online surveys, and then reviewed by our team.

Once our TNA was completed we moved onto the Programme Design phase, designing specific elements of the programme to address Doehler’s challenges and requirements.

The Programme Delivery phase of the project was itself split into two distinct stages.

Stage 1: Building Skills – Making Empowering Change

The backbone of our programme was the intensive, practical 2-day “Communication Sales Bootcamp”, focused on skills development, support and guidance. This was followed up with a ConfidentSpeak Clinic to support the Doehler team.

It was at times challenging for the team but we also had lots of laughter along the way! The team were open and “up for the challenge”.

Stage 2: Embedding Long-Term Behaviour Change

This stage equipped the Doehler team to achieve their personal and business goals.

To build confidence, and credibility and embed long-term behaviour change within the team, we knew it was vital that there was follow up professional support and guidance.

We met with the team for an intensive ConfidentSpeak Clinic, delivered six months after the initial programme.

We had a Post Programme Debrief with leadership to discuss the programme success and more importantly next steps for leadership and the team in terms of embedding long term behaviour change.

We wanted to support the team to take ownership of their own skills development.

We created a simple workable Action Plan to set them up for future success, through accountability, implementation of new techniques etc.

The Results That Matter

1: New Confidence & Credibility

The team expressed an increase in confidence and credibility when communicating with key decision makers and potential customers.

They were more empowered to grow in their own roles, reach target KPIs and ultimately achieve business growth for Doehler UK.

2: Consistency of Culture

With all team members following the same approach there was consistency and a more supportive culture which added to team cohesion.

Preparation was streamlined and results-focused at all times, bringing greater productivity and reducing stress, wasted time and lost opportunities.

Ultimately it was a WIN WIN for everyone involved.

3: Deeper Connections

More concise and results-focused communication meant a greater connection with audiences. This allowed the sales team to build and maintain better, more effective, more sustainable business relationships.

New tools and simple processes gave the team greater confidence to communicate in the best way possible. Despite some challenging environments, they felt listened to and understood, and had the confidence to take the action necessary to achieve business goals.

4. Long-Term Change

Because ConfidentSpeak provided Doehler with a simple Action Plan, the management team was able to support their team to embed the learnings long-term and to break old habits.

This ensured a long term behaviour change which was vital for the overall success of this programme.

What the Doehler Participants Say

All of it was relevant and transferable both to the workplace and daily life. I wish to use the toolkit at every opportunity to ensure I always stay focused on the goal and the softer skills – breathing, voice, colour, posture and so much more.

Jacinta HeatonSales Excellence & HR (Lead (UK)

It was excellent and the improvement in all participants in basically 24 hours was astonishing. This has already saved me time due to informed preparation and sharpened focus.  I have also found a voice!

Key Account Manager - AlcoholDoehler UK

Beneficial to all attendees. It helps you to simplify your presentations. This also gave some of the less confident speakers a chance to practise in front of an audience that is not going to judge them.

Paul ThompsonSales Director UK - Food

Useful. Would recommend for all team members at different levels. Good for telephone contact and not all about face-to-face meetings. Excellent team building session too.

Pam LloydSales Manager

I was hooked from the beginning. Practical, full of common sense and no rubbish jargon. Well managed by considerate and professional tutors.

Key Account ManagerDoehler UK

It was a very good course, with very engaging presenters. It made me look at things differently.

Paul MoldUK Trading Manager Fruit & Vegetables

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