BT fought off incumbent telcos NTL and Cable & Wireless to win a major contract with global solutions company LogicaCMG.

After lagging behind the competition for three years, LogicaCMG showed its confidence in BT by awarding the company £1.2 million worth of network services, voice and inbound service business over two years.

BT Retail’s international, voice and mobility (IVM) group says that part of the reason for its success in winning over a formerly disgruntled customer can be attributed to innovative skills learnt as part of a development programme that 54 of its leading salespeople have adopted.

Andy Newman, BT Retail General Manager, Voice and Network Solutions, said: “We are really pleased to have won LogicaCMG's business and especially with the way we turned the situation around through our approach and engagement with its procurement team.”

Training a key factor

He credits 'inside the buyer's head' – a course which his team underwent during the summer – for the improvement in performance.

Co-ordinated by Business Manager Brian Smith – and held in a number of locations around the country – the series of two-day courses teaches business managers, sales managers and sales executives in voice and network solutions how to understand the thinking and tactics of those they are selling to.

Taught by professionals from State of Flux, participants are given explanations of the decision-making process and there are a series of practical exercises to illustrate what is really going on 'inside the buyer’s head'.

“The course helped us to understand how to tailor our proposals to succeed in selling BT products”, said Smith, adding that participants’ responses have been very positive.

“It was the best course I’ve been on in 20 years of working within BT”, said BT Sales Manager Lawrie Sullivan.

Inside knowledge

After working as a buyer / procurement consultant for multinational companies for 15 years before setting up State of Flux, Managing Director Alan Day has used his inside knowledge of procurement to design the course. Current clients include organisations such as Allen & Overy, Barclays, Cisco, KPMG, Hudson, Morgan Stanley and the UN.

As well as teaching participants what is important for buyers, he says it is important to understand how BT can exploit its own strengths: “BT has traditionally sold on price, but the added value it can bring is often most important for buyers.”

Change of focus

BT Retail Sales Executive Patrick Gorey said the sales process with LogicaCMG had involved a series of presentations and demonstrations based around BT Analyst Elite – a server-based data mining tool.

“After a number of very positive meetings with LogicaCMG’s IT team, we were still in second place", he said. “Thanks to lessons learnt during the course, we changed the focus of our presentations and looked for a wider audience in others parts of the business, including strategic procurement."

“As a result of that approach, we got very senior engagement from the LogicaCMG group and were able to demonstrate the real benefits of the solution on a wider scale.”

The customer is delighted with the deal, Gorey added: “What they are getting from BT is a unique solution, providing them with competitive advantage they can pass on to their customers.”

Competitive advantage

LogicaCMG’s Head of Outsourcing, Steve Tunster, said, “As well as providing us with a competitive price, BT added value to the deal with its Analyst Elite, onward billing tool and inbound architect. We were also impressed with the way the BT team worked at building up the relationship with us over the past year.”

Apart from the prospect of new business from LogicaCMG in the future, the team’s approach has won results with other customers too. according to Brian Smith: “BT is now the first choice with two very large FTSE companies, where it was not previously the preferred provider. In both cases BT has gone from being an ‘also-ran’ to a real competitor. The course is proving for BT that by getting 'inside the buyer’s head', you can improve the bottom line.”

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