- Leveraged Create Value Messages to develop a differentiated, cross-functional market message, focused on the buyer instead of features and benefits
- Used Create Value Skills training to help salespeople articulate the value of their key market messages effectively and memorably in the field.
- Made Executive Conversations skills training a key piece of their training approach to help improve their reps financial acumen and their ability to engage C-suite executives, particularly the new types of financial buyers they needed to be fluent with
For Aon Hewitt, the biggest messaging obstacle the company faced had to do with making the move from fact- or product-based conversations to more client-centric ones, where insights drive the dialogue.
“We had a tendency to focus inward, and on what’s most comfortable, and that was our features and benefits, versus actually getting into the heads and minds of our clients,” according to Andrea Armstrong, VP global commercial operations at Aon Hewitt.
Another challenge the company had to confront: executive engagement and selling skills. Traditionally, Aon Hewitt’s typical customers were in mid- to senior-level management. But as the company has brought new solutions to market, buyers in new roles—often higher up the org chart—are increasingly becoming the people their salespeople need to be fluent with in their sales conversations. According to Armstrong, their buyers are now CFOs, CIOs and CHROs.
To deliver better executive proposals, and to really speak the language of buyers in the C-suite, the company knew it needed to improve the depth and breadth of its relationships with decision-makers in these roles.
Aon Hewitt leveraged Corporate Visions’ cross-functional messaging workshop, Create Value Messages, and two of its skills training programs, Create Value Skills and Elevate Value Skills, to improve their ability to differentiate their message and engage C-suite decision-makers.
Armstrong said these messaging and skills programs have been instrumental in helping Aon Hewitt transform their customer conversations.
She said: “We’ve partnered with Corporate Visions to transform the [customer] conversation in so many different ways, whether it’s becoming smarter and more articulating in partnering with executives and understanding what’s most important to them, or whether it’s taking that step back and saying: what we know about our differentiation is actually kind of parity. It’s actually the same as everyone else. And so they’ve helped us to dig and truly reflect upon what makes us special.”
A core part of Aon Hewitt’s business is long-term contracts, and retaining key customers is essential to hitting their growth targets. But according to Armstrong, such contracts are hard to differentiate. By using Corporate Visions’ messaging, content and skills programs, they’ve been able to “put the sizzle back” into retention business by delivering customer conversations that are more aligned to a client lens.
Meanwhile, Aon Hewitt has made Executive Conversations a pillar of its internal training program. By doing so, Armstrong says the overall business acumen of their salespeople has improved dramatically, and so has their ability to engage executives and move beyond a features and benefits-oriented conversation.
“We’ve partnered with Corporate Visions to transform the [customer] conversation in so many different ways,” Armstrong said. “They’ve helped us to dig deep and truly reflect upon what makes us special.”