‘We wanted our senior consultants to think and act more commercially’

Referent_EquaTerra_BijmholtThe EquaTerra consulting firm, now part of KPMG, specialises in the sourcing of IT and business processes such as finance, human resources, procurement and supply chain management. EquaTerra has supported over 2,000 transformation and outsourcing projects, spread over 60 countries in 19 languages. Rik Bijmholt, Managing Director, leads a team in the Netherlands that specialises in designing, implementing and improving internal governance and the demand-supply function of client organisations. For example: How do you deal with your internal IT organisation and managing suppliers? ” EquaTerra employs many senior consultants. They are used to provide content. Instead of coming up with a possible solution, for them the challenge is finding the question behind the question and to create appropriate solutions from there.”

Value Selling

“EquaTerra grew exponentially. And when orders grow larger, services become more complex and the number of people increases, you want the senior consultants to assume their role in the sales process. But our senior consultants were mainly content oriented. We wanted our senior consultants to think and act more commercially. This means that in their personal network and with existing customers they should pay more attention to commercial signals. And they had to learn to respond to this. Myself, along with my colleague Gerard Wijers, asked Eisenfelt to assist our team in this process.”

“We have built a real customer case and with went out in the prairie with the same group of people three times for a few days. Based on a real case in which CIOs of clients have participated, Eisenfelt has simulated the entire buying and selling process of our potential customers. The aim was to improve our commercial consulting skills early during the customer buying process. How to detect the question behind the question? And then, how do I translate customer needs into the propositions that we are offering? It starts with listening to your conversation partner, to keeping them asking questions and delaying the offer of a possible solution. During the workshops our competencies developed significantly, including my own. But Value Selling places high requirements on the consultants; it is a way of thinking and acting that you must understand and develop a feeling for.”


“EquaTerra delivers many projects at a fixed price: ‘You have a problem, we have a solution and at this amount.’ Value selling fits in well with its method. The goal of the assignment to Eisenfelt was to improve the commercial consulting skills of our consultants. And they did. They really started working with it and spotted and scored more orders in their personal environment or with existing customers. In doing so, they have directly contributed to the success of our Company.”