8 x ROI: Developing an organisational sales capability in an engineering consultancy


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AECOM recognised the commercial environment that they were operating in meant that couldn’t rely on a small number of senior grades to win work while expecting that established clients would continue to choose AECOM. They therefore established a programme focused on driving a step change in winning work with selected key clients; alongside a shift toward a more BD focused culture and capability. SBR were selected to engage based on the experience that some of the senior team had had of working on previous programmes. We conducted a capability review across a representative sample of the client facing team which underpinned the development of a programme that built on and evolved existing practice. We then supported the roll out across multiple cohorts while working in parallel with leadership to embed key behaviours and attitudes across the target grades.


“By using lightbulb questioning, engaging the rest of the business to capitalise, and treating BD like a project with defined activities and focus, I’ve won £100,000 in fees from 5 wins.”

   Chris Bicknell



126 delegates were evaluated to review the impact of the programme. ROI on the programme was determined at x8 six months after the immediate roll out.

74% of participants reported that SBR had had a strong impact on the way that they engaged with clients.



“The course and training has had significant impact on the Building Surveying team. The Scottish team adopted a project and Business Development tracker funnel which was introduced by SBR. This is being expanded to all Building Surveyor teams across the UK.”

“We have originated multiple engagements using lessons learned from the engagement with SBR. Understanding how to be proactive, the use of better questioning techniques and the ability to position value have been central to this success.”

“I am keeping in closer contact with my clients, and being more proactive asking for meetings, averaging 2-3 per week. Before the course with SBR it was only 1 a week!”

“The techniques and methods enable us to win work. I take every opportunity to apply what we have been taught.”

“Following the training I started a breakfast club. New conversations to help cross-sell other departments in our business to our clients now exist. We now have collaboration between Consulting, PCC, Buildings Engineering, and Water Engineering… with more teams joining!”

“New opportunities have been identified, client introductions, proposals and numerous pieces of work won – however the biggest achievement is that all in the office, regardless of grade, now regularly talk about developing business, and it’s certainly brought our office together.”

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