Building commercial capability

Britvic case study

Britvic and Expression for Growth

Britvic Commercial Sales Development Programme

Full Kirkpatrick Evaluation Case Study delivers significant ROI


YOUR BUSINESSBuilding Commercial Capability with the Sales Development Programme

Britvic Soft Drinks is one of the leading soft drinks businesses, producing over 1.4 billion litres annually. They distinguish our core markets between ‘at home’, which includes all the major supermarkets and ‘out of home’, which includes tens of thousands of small local shops, restaurants, pubs, hotels and cinemas.​

In 2012, Britvic decided to invest in the Learning & Development of their commercial team, after years of very little training. A desire to upskill their existing sales force, and with the knowledge that they were to grow that population from 20 people to 120, led them to look for an L&D partner to address a number of behavioural changes:

  • Being too obsessed with negotiation rather than sales – the preference was to negotiate before selling​
  • Existing sales models were too confusing and didn’t help to get the most out of individuals​
  • Lack of strategic thinking to inform and influence customer visions/plans​
  • Existing coaching was patchy – people were nervous about implementing it​
  • No common language amongst the commercial team with inconsistency of models and approach​
  • Lack of collaboration across the broader commercial team​

​To implement the required changes to address these behaviours, they measured the  success using these business objectives:​

  • Become a trusted advisor amongst their key customer base by 2020 and to hold strong to a dedicated vision and purpose.​
  • Achieve a score of 80% capability across selling and planning by 2015 in ‘fully proficient’ or ‘demonstrating’ i.e. 4 in 5 people have the capability they expect to sell.​

The main learning objective for delegates was to ensure consistency of the Britvic Way of Selling and be more aligned to their customer needs.​

OUR SOLUTION: ‘The Britvic Sales Development Programme’​

Expression for Growth’s training solutions are designed to transform how ​people approach selling, delivering high impact and measurable results​ every time. 

Our approach is to operate at a deep psychological level; challenging​ beliefs, changing behaviours and in turn driving business results. Our programmes were put in place to enable Britvic to use a consistent ​process for outcome-focused customer meetings, how to genuinely ​and quickly connect with customers and communicate effectively with ​different personality ‘styles’. ​

Expression for Growth tailored our core commercial programmes for ​Britvic, developing the content and exercises to ensure participants were able to:​

  • Apply a strategic thinking approach to any plan, internally or externally
  • Create commercial insights to gain a competitive advantage
  • Gain cross functional alignment, using a common language
  • To ask ‘amazing’ questions’, to probe and sincerely listen to the answers
  • Develop deeper relationships with customers, truly understanding the decision making process
  • Flex style, build rapport quicker and improve communication with customers and colleagues
  • Run effective, outcome-focused business meetings, with a view to driving mutual business gain
  • Present solutions in a relevant, persuasive and engaging manner

A tailored multi-tiered approach to enhance commercial selling skills​

The proposed solution comprised of a full suite of commercial programmes, putting into practice a 70/20/10 approach to training by offering in-class learning (the ’10’), creating a bank of internal coaches (the ’20’), as well as putting into place support tools and resources, allowing the participants to use and embed their learning, back in the workplace (the ’70’):​

Strategic Customer Development
– Develop a strategic mindset
– Making sense of data to give focus​
– Turning data into insight​
– Generating ideas​
– Commercial criteria to prioritise
– Creating commercial solutions​
– Collaboration for generation of winning propositions

Selling icon

Precision Selling
– Understanding the behaviours of exceptional sales people
– Setting powerful and clear meeting objectives​
– Having a clear process and structure to use​
– Enabling a common language across teams

The Participant Journey:

YOUR RESULTSWorking together to embed & deliver fast, positive ROI​

Here are numerous pieces of evidence demonstrating ROI for Britvic:

A comment from Ian Forshew, Commercial Director, suggests this is now embedding itself into the DNA of their people and Britvic are already seeing the impact:

The training solution has had a profound impact on the way that we engage and create positive dialogue with our customers, resulting in Britvic recently being awarded Branded Supplier of the Year for Soft Drinks by the Grocer, as well as having one of the fastest growing scale brands in the category’

Britvic have seen their turnover increase by +1.6% in 2014 and their profit increase by 45% in 2014. Their share price has also risen by 86% since 2013. 

A great example of how the successful implementation has impacted on their customers is from one of their main ones;  Sainsbury’s. Their group sales have increased +2.8%, which we are thrilled to have contributed to.

Britvic nominated EFG for two TJ Awards; in December 2015 we won a Bronze TJ Award for both the Best Supplier & the Best Sales Programme categories!

Participants were immediately excited about the change and were able to report numerous successes:

One great example is the listing of one particular brand across my customers. This has been achieved in 3 out of 4 of my accounts outside range review window timings which is generally unheard of! This has delivered an incremental 41.7KL and £30.9K Net Revenue since listing. With securing the listings on these lines all accounts have agreed to incremental feature with one retailer, with costs  under ½ the rate card! It goes to show increased preparation is key in securing new listings and feature.

The “top-down” approach & involvement of the senior leadership team resulted in changes witnessed in day-to-day communications with both internal & external customers.

Moved from 8th to 3rd place in the Advantage Group Survey ranking. 

One 5-to-Drive planning exercise uncovered opportunities worth £22.5m at net sales contribution. 

In one department at Britvic, they scored the programme 94% of overall delegate satisfaction with a direct quote from a participant saying:
 ‘Expression for Growth tailored the content to needs of the team and individuals. Great for the trainer to make himself available post-course too’.