Pernod Ricard Case Study

Pernod Ricard and Expression for Growth



With one of our long-standing partners, of 15 years; Pernod Ricard, Expression for Growth entered into the prestigious Brandon Hall Awards. In July 2020, we won the Silver Award for Best Program for Sales Training and Performance! 

PRUK had an established training programme for their commercial team with workshops for both sales and negotiation processes. However, in 2014 the success of the graduate programme and high level of graduate employees moving into senior positions, meant that the sales and negotiation training needed to be supplemented. 

Although their calibre was high, the principles of basic customer management were lacking and there was a risk that PRUK could become exposed, particularly where colleagues were managing and developing account executives without having benefitted from any formal external training on how to do so. 

In 2015, PRUK elected to continue partnering with Expression for Growth to deliver its sales process training. A key objective of this training programme was to define clear ways of working across the commercial team, and establish commonality of language and processes. 

Together we undertook a learning needs analysis involving the mapping of PRUK’s existing competency framework against competitor organisations, which identified gaps in their training offering across all levels of operation.  

These insights resulted in the launch of PRUK’s Customer Consultant programme, a modular commercial curriculum based on job description, innovatively structured around career path, with focus on long-lasting behavioural change and skills development, and applying a variety of inspirational techniques for delegates.  

The Customer Consultant programme consists of five modules: 

Consult is the core programme attended by all commercial team roles, and the sales process provides the foundation for the other programmes 

Connect, Collaborate and Champion are targeted at specific job roles, or stages of career development 

Coach underpins the programme by enabling managers to coach in a sales environment, both to maximise sales performance and to embed the learnings 

Due to COVID-19, we needed to re-invent the programme to continue supporting the team remotely, so we collaborated together to produce the evolved version: Virtual Sprints. During the On-Trade closure, Field Sales teams were offered self-directed learning and internally facilitated webinars on key aspects of the Customer Consultant programme. 

We measured our success using the various learning and business objectives, which have all been met. 

The external industry survey results (The Advantage Group) identified that PRUK ranked in the top third of all suppliers in Strategic Alignment, People, Trade & Shopper Marketing and Supply Chain, rising to 5th based on overall performance (from 20th in 2018). 

Since 2015, PRUK has exceeded its commercial targets and seen a +24% increase in its market share value of Total Spirits. They are now the clear no.2 in the UK On-Trade, and during Christmas 2019, PRUK saw the largest market share value increase (+0.6% in the 12 weeks to 4th January 2020), and was the second biggest contributor to spirits performance. 



Delegates confirm the value of the training, consistently scoring it over 92% in feedback forms, with positive anecdotal feedback received: 

  • “The skills acquired from the training are practical and realistic to put into practice. Each course I completed felt like adding another string to my bow and has helped me to progress through the business in different roles.” Lucy Pointon, Customer Account Executive 
  • “The COVID-19 pandemic has required us to be more customer and consumer-centric than ever before. The programme tools have been critical to understand how we can help customers get back to business as quickly as possible. We have been able to listen to their needs carefully, adapt our own short-term strategies and drive better alignment and collaboration.” Craig Scott, Customer Business Manager 
  • “The programme is extremely valuable in providing a structured process and language in our interactions with all our customers. This enables individuals in our sales teams to progress their careers across different customers and trade channels using a consistent, proven way of selling.” Ian Peart, Commercial Director 

Since 2015, PRUK has exceeded its commercial targets and seen a +24% increase in its market share value of Total Spirits.

They are now the clear no.2 in the UK On-Trade.

And during Christmas 2019, PRUK saw the largest market share value increase (+0.6% in the 12 weeks to 4th January 2020).

And was the second biggest contributor to spirits performance.

“The programme is extremely valuable in providing a structured process and language in our interactions with all our customers. This enables individuals in our sales teams to progress their careers across different customers and trade channels using a consistent, proven way of selling.”

Ian Peart, Commercial Director, Pernod Ricard

Case study correct at time of Award win.