Bausch & Lomb, based in Rochester, New York, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of eye health products, such as contact lenses and lens care products today. Bausch & Lomb became well known because of its popular Ray-Ban brand of sunglasses, which was sold in 1999 to the Italian Luxottica Group. Today, the company employs about 13,000 people in 36 countries. As its core contact lens business had become increasingly competitive with global players like Johnson and Johnson and Ciba Vision, Bausch launched a major sales training initiative with its outside sales team, inside team, and key accounts group. In addition to the traditional training they had always done, Bausch contracted with Bryan Feller Associates to create a series of sales tools that would bridge the gap between training and conversations with customers.
Outside Sales Team Video Role Plays
As part of a large sales playbook project spanning 18 months, Bryan Feller and his team developed an entire library of video taped sales role plays. The role play below was shot for the outside sales team and focused on selling a specific lens product with specific objections. Due to space constraints, this video was shot at the clients office on “green screen” to look like an actual doctor’s office. Because Bausch & Lomb was already using the Professional Selling Skills (PSS) program, Feller and his team integrated key elements of this process throughout each video conversation so the sales team could connect training concepts with actual conversations. The video role plays made it possible to show their entire sales organization ”what good looks like” in a sales conversation. This is something that live training by itself could not accomplish. There were over 50 videos shot as part of the project that were available to the sales team online, and on their mobile devices. Samples of some of these videos are below…
Inside Sales Team Video Role Plays
The inside sales clip included in the playlist above was shot for the inside sales team using some of Bausch & Lomb’s top sales representatives as actors. The clip shown here is focused on selling a specific lens product with specific objections. Due to space constraints, this video was shot at the clients office on “green screen” to look like the actual call center the reps operate from.
A Monthly Video Newsletter
After the launch of the sales playbooks, Bausch & Lomb had Bryan Feller and his team produce a monthly video newsletter to communicate news to field reps. The reps were barraged with information from many sources and the company wanted a way to highlight the most important news and make heroes out of the people throughout the ranks that were making great contributions every day, but were unrecognized. An example of one of these newsletters is in the video playlist above. Bryan Feller and his team worked for over 18 months on a sales playbook initiative with Bausch & Lomb’s North American Contact Lens Group. His team worked with subject matter experts in sales, marketing, HR, and IT, to build the content for the playbooks. The project included developing sales playbooks for three groups within the division including:
- Outside Sales
- Inside Sales
- National Accounts
Printed Sales Playbooks
The printed sales playbooks range in size from 100 to 400 pages and contained a comprehensive set of key procedures for each sales division. They also contained best practices for selling major product lines. The books were also made available electronically and on mobile devices. The new sales playbook rollout was announced at the Bausch & Lomb Annual Sales Meeting. Following this launch, the playbook was updated on a quarterly basis and converted to an e-book format that could be accessed via Ipad.
“In short, the playbook we developed with Bryan Feller and his team contains all the information our sales team needs to consistently deliver results with excellence. The important thing to know here is that it was put together by a cross functional team that included not only sales and marketing but also HR, business intelligence and other functions as well. It is a simple and comprehensive way for our team to get all of the tools that they need to perform wonderfully.”
President, Bausch & Lomb Vision Care North America
The sales playbook concept gained wide usage immediately among the 300+ sales reps in the North American Contact Lens division. Some of the immediate results were:
- Reduced Admin Costs. Before the Playbooks were published, sales managers and their teams spent a considerable amount of time dealing with recurring admin issues related to policies and procedures. The Playbooks made answers to these issues easily accessible and dramatically reduced the non-value-added activities in the sales group.
- Dramatically Improved Training Results. After the launch of the Sales Playbook and related video library, sales reps used these tools as a reference in quarterly training sessions. Rather than just seeing a PowerPoint about how to sell, reps watched videos about specific conversations to see “what good looked like” and then did their role plays in breakout exercises.
- Improved Sales Conversations with Clients. With training videos accessible via mobile device, sales reps could literally get a refresher course on dealing with specific objections during downtime between appointments. This improved the quality of sales conversations, especially among new hires.
- Shared Best Practices. One of the unintended benefits of the video role plays was that reps began to comment on the videos and interject their own techniques and experiences with dealing with specific sales issues. The videos were not simply a training tool, they were a catalyst to knowledge sharing and team learning.
- Increased Engagement. The monthly video newsletter dramatically improved the engagement of the sales team. Previous HTML newsletters got little response from a team that was overwhelmed with information. The video format was much more personal – improving readership and overall engagement of people in their field.
“The new Bausch Sales Playbook is a fantastic sales tool that pulls together the reference materials our sales team needs along with the best practices from their peers to ensure performance at the highest level. It creates tactical alignment in the field for all facets of the job. It allows us to function as a high performing team across the entire country and it’s a reference point for best practices and not just a set of rules. It leverages the experience of our highest performing sales professionals and transfers that knowledge through the entire sales force. In the field we are expected to do two things, we’re expected to achieve our sales goals and execute the plan. This sales tool helps us do both.”
Vice President of Sales, Bausch & Lomb Vision Care North America