Case Studies

ORBIT - A CATALYST FOR SEA-CHANGE IN SANTANDER’S SALES PRODUCTIVITY

  • ORBIT - A CATALYST FOR SEA-CHANGE IN SANTANDER’S SALES PRODUCTIVITY
  • ORBIT - A CATALYST FOR SEA-CHANGE IN SANTANDER’S SALES PRODUCTIVITY

“Current numbers suggest that by the end of the financial year, volume sales for Santander Consumer Finance will be up by 20%. The Orbit programme has made a significant contribution to this achievement. At the final wash-up workshop the team quoted numerous examples of where the change facilitated by this programme has made a huge impact, i.e. examples of new accounts opened, struggling relationships revived and significant growth in accounts. 

- Kevin Brockbank, Core Sales Director

The Client

Household brand Santander, wholly owned by the Spanish Group Banco Santander, has a significant footprint in UK banking – with 14 million active customers, almost 20,000 employees, around 800 branches and 40+ regional sites providing both consumer and business finance solutions. At the forefront of the UK motor industry Santander Consumer Finance is the country’s leading point-of-sale, automotive finance company, providing financing options for both retailers and consumers. This case study documents the steps the senior management of Santander Consumer Finance have taken to strengthen its sales strategy.

The Supplier

Orbit Business Development Limited is a people development and business change consultancy with particular expertise delivering sales productivity programmes to organisations that sell complex B2B solutions. Orbit is well respected for its customer-focused, ‘challenger sale’ approach to solution selling and for driving tangible sales results through innovative programmes.

The Brief

Commercial Director for Santander Consumer Finance, Stewart Grant said, “I believe that to deliver first-class, sustainable results an organisation must be genuinely customer-centric, have a clear, well communicated set of strategic priorities and nurture a culture of continuous improvement through its people.

Orbit came highly recommended to Santander Consumer Finance by a trusted business associate.  When I spoke to Orbit about my vision for strengthening our responsible, customer-centric sales strategy to ensure it delivers sustainable healthy growth, I knew instantly they were on the same page. Orbit has solid experience working with sales leaders in complex business-to-business solutions markets and they demonstrated to me that they have an intrinsic understanding of what needs to be done to ensure sales people engage with right people, at the right level, in the best way.”

The Solution

Orbit delivered a bespoke strategic sales programme for the 50-strong Santander Consumer Finance team.  The programme’s overall objective was to develop a unified consistent, pro-active sales approach and engagement method right across the sales team – with a strong focus on building long-term and influential relationships with non-commoditised accounts.

The programme was based upon Orbit’s proven challenger sale approach to solution selling and included:

  • Strategic Sales Leadership
  • Strategic Alignment
  • Operational Assessment
  • Executive Coaching
  • Strategic Thinking Workshops
  • Pro-active Account Management Events

Santander Consumer Finance's Top 5

We asked the Santander team for the top 5 benefits the Orbit Strategic Sales Programme has delivered so far: 

1.  A RESEARCH APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING TARGET DEALER GROUPS
“Because of the programme sales people no longer go into their accounts blind. They are researching the dealer group thoroughly before they go in. Orbit showed them there is a whole raft of valuable information out there on social media about our dealer groups, our dealerships and the individuals involved. The team now knows how to harvest this and it has given them a much deeper understanding of what’s important in the customer’s world before they engage.”
Claire Maddox, Field Sales Manager - South Region, Santander Consumer Finance

2.  A MINDSHIFT TO ENGAGE MORE CONFIDENTLY AT A HIGHER LEVEL
“Because I now know what’s important to each of my customer accounts as a business it has given me the confidence to aim higher in the organisation for sales engagement. I am speaking to the right people at the right level and I am better equipped to listen and ask more probing questions. I am no longer relying on information from lower down the chain in isolation.  I have the whole picture and can do much more with it.”
Michelle Young, Regional Manager - North West Region, Santander Consumer Finance

3.  TRUSTED ADVISER STATUS
“The Orbit Challenger Sale approach to solution selling is all about giving the sales team the right skills to confidently challenge thinking at the most senior level in their client organisations.  It aims to change the perception of the role of the sales person to become less of 'a person who sells' and more of a 'trusted adviser' to clients. I am seeing real evidence of this within my regional team. I have seen a number of dormant accounts revived simply by using this approach. It’s working exceptionally well for us."
Stuart Day, Field Sales Manager - Yorkshire Region, Santander Consumer Finance

4.  STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT WITH THE CONSUMER FINANCE VALUE MODEL
In line with Commercial Director, Stewart Grant’s strategic vision Orbit has helped Santander Consumer Finance re-align the organisation's Business Value Model via the sales team. 
“Our business model focuses on how we engage with and develop business through sales intermediaries, in most cases that being car and motorcycle retailers. Our finance solutions and related services are designed to help retailers optimise both sales and customer retention opportunities, doing so within regulatory boundaries and ensuring that the fair treatment of customers is central to all they do. The Orbit programme helped translate this model and provided our business development teams with the tools and skills needed to demonstrate to retailers how Santander Consumer Finance can add real value to their business and become a long-term, indispensable partner.”
Stewart Grant, Commercial Director, Santander Consumer Finance

5.  HEALTHY GROWTH THROUGH RESPONSIBLE SELLING
“Current numbers suggest that by the end of the financial year, volume sales for Santander Consumer Finance will be up by 20%. The Orbit programme has made a significant contribution to this achievement.”
Kevin Brockbank, Core Sales Director, Santander Consumer Finance

The Final Word

“With a responsible sales strategy where the customer is securely at the heart of everything you do as an organisation, it’s easy for the sales effort to be pulled into areas where they shouldn’t be involved. They’re a helpful bunch and largely the team was in danger of becoming a dumping ground for customer queries which meant they were spending too much time wearing a ‘customer service’ hat rather than a ‘sales’ hat. We have a more than capable, customer service team in place for this reason. Orbit helped empower the sales team to work towards becoming ‘trusted advisers’ and to have more meaningful business-like conversations with the key people in their accounts, and focus more on the sales job they are employed to deliver. Both team buy-in and sales outcomes so far have been incredible.”
Kevin Brockbank, Core Sales Director, Santander Consumer Finance

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