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How Esri Netherlands Used Sales Development to Boost Growth

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Esri Nederland, a Dutch company recognised for its graphical information systems (GIS) wanted their sales cycle to adapt to the changing demands and market. They consulted Miller Heiman Group for a sales methodology that can help them attain a manageable growth.


Esri Nederland is a Dutch company, recognised as a global leader in the field of mapping and spacial awareness technology. The business is especially well known for its graphical information systems (GIS), which are effective in helping other businesses to understand and analyse data, and more easily see trends or patterns within that data.

Over the course of the past decade, Esri Nederland has experienced significant growth, because its GIS technology has been adopted in a diverse range of industries and areas of expertise, including fleet management, conservation and even evacuation planning. However, this rapid expansion presented problems of its own.

The issues we faced

The company initially found it difficult to keep up with the pace of this new demand. As Ed van Ingen, the Managing Director of Ersi Nederland, explains, the company needed to find a way to regain control over its sales cycle and its sales team needed to be more adaptable to changes in the market moving forwards.

"We were broadening, widening and deepening our position in the market, which means every single sales opportunity was different from another," Ed van Ingen said of the situation. "It was no longer a repeatable sales cycle...we were dealing with different people, different dynamics, different markets. The world was getting more complex for us and we needed the right tools to deal with it."

The actions we took

After considering the nature of the problem, van Ingen decided to adopt a new sales methodology. The company objective was to implement this methodology, gain control over the sales cycle and allow the business to continue to grow. It was also hoped that sales cycles could be shortened and win rates could be more accurately predicted.

Crucially, the company did not want to slow growth. Indeed, it wanted to boost growth, but also make that growth manageable. In order to achieve these goals, Esri Nederland placed their trust in Miller Heiman Group, a global leader in business performance solutions, including sales coaching and sales management training.

Sales Methodology
The first phase of the company's new strategy saw them implement the Strategic Selling® sales methodology from Miller Heiman Group. This then became a mandatory component of the organisation's sales training efforts, in addition to sales management training and sales development training. For the business, it was important that all staff members in related roles benefited from this investment.

As a business solution, Strategic Selling® is especially useful for sales development, helping businesses to provide their sales teams with comprehensive strategies to win sales opportunities. It also equips salespeople with the skills to better understand sales opportunities, leading to greater forecast accuracy.

In addition, the company also implemented Conceptual Selling and a Large Account Management Process, or LAMP. The former equipped sales staff with planning and communication skills, while the latter helped the company to better manage its relationships with large accounts, who contributed most of Esri Netherlands's revenue.

"We had a feeling we could improve if we had a methodology, a common language and tools that could help us structure our sales cycles," said van Ingen. "That's why we chose Strategic Selling first. We [also] had to know our customers' problems before we stepped into the room, and after reading Conceptual Selling it all came together.” 

Positive outcomes

Since adopting and fully implementing the three sales methodologies from Miller Heiman Group, Esri Nederland has experienced continued growth, but the benefits have also extended beyond that. In particular, sales teams now have greater control of the sales funnel and sales leaders have found they are better able to predict results, meaning that they are no longer taken by surprise in the same way they once were.

Another major benefit from investing in the development aspect of sales has been an overall shortening of the sales cycle. As a direct consequence of this, the company's salespeople have found they have more time to focus on the deals they are most likely to achieve success with, while salespeople are also better prepared for sales meetings.

Negative outcomes


Lessons learnt

This extra level of preparation has helped to strengthen the relationship between Esri Nederland's sales reps and their customers, especially when it comes to large accounts. Additionally, the methodologies adopted have helped to ensure those salespeople are better equipped to spot up-selling or cross-selling opportunities.

"Our business is growing," van Ingen says. "We're better at closing sales and controlling our sales funnel. So the solutions we use from Miller Heiman Group have played a strong role in our overall growth. From a sales management perspective, we also found we could coach better."


Page last edited Aug 03, 2018

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