“The most important factor was the international differences. We didn’t want a company that only trains Czech companies or deals with business only in the Czech Republic. We wanted someone who had experience in foreign countries, and SBR have that. If we’re going to run a training course, we want it for the whole team – one that can adapt for both the juniors & the experienced team. And with regard to speaking English, which even in the present day still isn’t at a high standard in the Czech Republic, SBR were miles ahead of the competition – I think that’s important.”
Tomáš Klíma, Chief Sales Officer of 2N Telecommunication
What makes 2N’s business unique?
We always boast that we deliver to more than 100 countries around the world. We thought that if we wanted to deliver something anywhere, like Central Africa, we’d probably get it there in two or three days.
What impact does this have on your sales team?
About half our team is in the Czech Republic and half is abroad. It’s a mix of nationalities, because even in the Czech Republic, there aren’t just Czechs: there are French, Armenians, Russians – and they have their own public market based here. And then we have the people abroad, who don’t just have cultural and linguistic differences among them, but also, of course… differences in their sales experience.
What was your need?
We wanted to create a whole new programme of training courses. Not just on one sales topic; we were interested in several things. We wanted to create an entire programme to train our salespeople. Not only our current salespeople, but for our future salespeople to come. We were looking for someone who specialise in sales. It was a training course for salespeople – so we wanted someone with a lot of sales experience. We didn’t want an external public speaker – we already have a few of them here, and that wasn’t very successful for the sales team.
What did you want to achieve?
I care a lot about the team’s activity and the team’s excitement. I wanted something that would benefit all of them. The team is diverse, and of course everyone has slightly different requirements, and slightly different targets. And we wanted results from everyone – there are many factors at hand of the job to deliver these results. I understand that this may be difficult to achieve when the product is delivered. Ultimately, we want to see our people’s activities generate and grow our revenues. We wanted to set a benchmark regarding these activities and, for that, we needed help.
What areas have you moved forward in?
By tracking all our opportunities, and by monitoring activity, tracking conversion rates, and checking that the pipeline produces enough prospects means we have been able to make our sales. This has been very useful. And finally, we liked that SBR helped us understand our CRM, Salesforce.com. SBR have a lot of experience in this field. To me, it’s benefits to talk with someone about Salesforce who uses it themselves, who uses it for their own sales, and who can give us best practice on how, and what to set up. That was a personal favourite.
How did you cope with new norms after the pandemic?
We started business with SBR before the global pandemic, which made it easier to plan the training courses. Then in March 2020, the pandemic put a spanner in the works. It was clear that we couldn’t continue the training in the way we did before. And, of course, it changed the way we worked, because we often conduct business abroad; we visit our distributors. All of a sudden, this ceased to exist, so we really saw the need to monitor our people’s activity and take a slightly different direction. We didn’t want our salespeople to just give up and say, “I can’t conduct business abroad, so what should I do?” We needed to plant the idea in their heads that, “Okay, we have a problem, but I’m not going to sit here and do nothing.”
How did you manage to maintain the new habits?
The salespeople complained a little and told themselves, “It’s different now – times have changed.” But that didn’t last long. Instead of sinking into negative thinking the salespeople now use positive self-talk while they work. Because if they didn’t do this, they wouldn’t hit their targets.
We also had a programme for managers, and we learnt how to react to certain things such as the pandemic, how to encourage motivation, and what we should focus on with each of them. This may sound like a simple exercise, but it had a great impact on how the managers were leading their sales teams.