Accelerating Commercial Awareness for a multinational energy and services company

Designing a bespoke business simulation that put relationship managers in their customer's shoes and challenged them to develop and execute a business strategy to make a business profitable
Photo of a woman standing up giving a lecture to a group of seated men

The Objective

Our client wanted their relationship managers and other colleagues in customer facing roles within the corporate banking environment to have a deeper understanding of their customers, as well as the drivers of the business. They wanted them to ‘walk in their customer’s shoes’ and really feel what it is like to manage an SME.

Designing a bespoke business simulation that put relationship managers in their customer's shoes and challenged them to develop and execute a business strategy to make a business profitable

Our Solution

We developed a business simulation that enabled the managers to experience the issues facing SMEs in a competitive environment. Participants were split into teams and had to develop and execute a business strategy, plan material and people resources, make pricing decisions, manage cash flow, prepare management information and negotiate with suppliers, customers and bankers. All whilst competing with the other teams to see who could be the most profitable.

At the end of the two days, teams were required to present to a panel of lending managers in a ‘Drgon’s Den’ style to see whether they will receive the lending they require to build their business for the future.

Our simulations use physical boards that require participants to engage with each other to practice their influencing skills. This particular solution facilitated better understanding of their customers by helping the relationship managers to:

  • Understand the pressures that a typical SME Board faces in the current economic climate
  • Stand on the other side of a funding proposal and presentation
  • Understand financial statements and key performance indicators, linked with their accreditation requirements
  • Instil a real life understanding of cash flow velocity
  • Improve commercial confidence and financial dexterity
  • Provide an insight into financial information and presenting numbers with impact

The Results

Participants were guided through the simulation and developed the capability to present a funding proposition to a credit panel made up of senior bank employees. The presentation included an explanation of their business strategy, successes and failures, the financial position, the financial outlook and all the fundamentals expected within a typical funding proposal – all of which they had only a limited understanding of before the workshop.

We then helped the participants to turn the learning on their own portfolios and discuss what they can do to improve bottom line performance, before developing with them a personal commitment plan outlining the things they can do to make a measurable difference to the results of their portfolios when they return to the workplace.

Part of the film includes footage from the workshop and interviews with some of the participants.

Feedback

“The course has helped me develop a strategy to become a trusted business advisor. I feel this is the best way to build relations and develop further business opportunities. I aim to be “default choice” for my customers but know I need to earn this.” – Participant

“I will always remember to look behind the numbers and try to bear in mind all the other factors and influences that a customer faces in running their business. This will hopefully allow me to identify as many solutions for the customer as possible.” – Participant