• Peter Sermon, Chief Sales Officer, Strategic Account Development 

    “We have no doubt that the investment we make in our sales people will continue to pay dividends in terms of attracting and retaining the best talent, and ensuring our continued primacy in the UK and global solar markets.”


The Business Need

With a proven track record and reputation, Solarcentury enjoys a strong position as a leader in the growing but increasingly competitive solar energy market.  They approached Phoenix in late 2013 as part of a strategy to accelerate growth.


Peter Sermon, Chief Sales Officer for the group, summarises their requirement:

“We needed to develop a strategy to ensure our sales people were performing at the same level and in the same way regardless of geography, and ensure all our sales people speak the same language, manage the sales cycle in the same way and grow as a team and as individuals.”


Specifically, the business wanted to strengthen the skills and shared methodology of the sales teams across Europe and Africa in order to:

  • Effectively and proactively manage the sales cycle from project creation / identification to project win
  • Compete effectively by better understanding customers, articulating clear value propositions and differentiating against more aggressive competitors
  • Create demand from new clients and for new projects
  • Soften the impact of peaks and troughs in large-scale project delivery


Working with Phoenix Training & Development

Following consultancy, Phoenix designed a tailored programme that delivered specifically against Solarcentury’s needs, working with both the large project and distribution teams.  Key to the programme was introducing consistency and a common structure for developing business.  Fundamental in the brief was a need to do so without introducing complexity, bureaucracy or arduous reporting.  The programme consisted of 2 one-day workshops, 8 weeks apart, supported and extended by Phoenix’s innovative learning transfer platform, PROMOTE®.  


During the programme the sales teams explored their market and current approaches and took on new frameworks.  The PROMOTE® platform mapped the journey through the programme, encouraging self-reflection, action planning and progress tracking.  Its collaborative design means that the participants, supported by the trainer, can continue to discuss, support and share the outcomes of what they’ve learnt over a twelve-month programme period – something that would be almost impossible otherwise, given their geographical spread.


Visibility of progress and results is important and PROMOTE® provides a window for stakeholders, including HR and relevant directors, to see evidence of implementation, follow and participate in discussions, and see data relating to the programme.


The Results

Almost immediately the programme resulted in positive change.

  • At a business level, Solarcentury has started to integrate some new profiling questions into its CRM tool to better understand and address customers’ needs and buying cycles.
  • Exploring the company’s value propositions during the training demonstrated that the business has a genuinely strong proposition, yet that message wasn’t always standing out from the crowd. The training has triggered wider cross-function work to refresh the company’s collateral and find new ways to express the Solarcentury advantage.
  • Cross-geography collaboration is also expanding as the UK and Italian distribution teams recognised similarities in what they are trying to achieve and are now proactively sharing ideas more closely and regularly.
  • The company has applied the methodology to better qualify opportunities, allocate resources and focus on the opportunities where Solarcentury has the best chance of winning.


“This training was well tailored for our requirements and focused on solutions to real problems unlike other courses that work with fictitious scenarios.

My team have implemented a lot of new practices since the training and this increased focus on strategic accounts is already showing results.”

Brian Marsh – Sales Director, Distribution


“We have no doubt that the investment we make in our sales people will continue to pay dividends in terms of attracting and retaining the best talent, and ensuring our continued primacy in the UK and global solar markets.”

Peter Sermon – Chief Sales Officer


The PROMOTE® stats:

    16 Participants

    181 Participant Comments to date

    11 Active Coaches

    278 Completed Activities & Assignments

1 Happy Client