University of Phoenix is committed to equipping people with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in a rapidly changing workplace – their commitment to their own people is no different than it is to the thousands of students it serves around the globe. So when the Workforce Solutions Team made a dramatic strategy shift, UOPX leadership knew they needed to quickly equip their Workforce Solutions Advisors with the skills they’d need to lead these new conversations.
Advisors were accustomed to focusing their outreach efforts on individual potential students – a model that did not always advance the employer’s workforce development needs in the most effective way. Advisors were now being asked by UOPX to be much more strategic in partnering with companies – to develop a broader network of relationships in the executive suite, to have conversations that identify strategic opportunities and communicate the powerful resources that UOPX brings to educating working professionals more effectively.
How We Helped
Initially, we helped their leadership team design and roll out a program designed to quickly shift the Workforce Solutions Advisor’s approach from a transactional B2C model to a strategic B2B model, focused on helping Advisors get comfortable with having differentiated conversations in the C-suite. We trained over 400 Workforce Solutions Advisors and 100 Managers in 15 cities across the country.
We developed and taught an intensive coaching skills program to the managers and directors in order to make these changes permanent and help Advisors continue developing their skills. The OutSell team then devoted a majority of our field time to “coaching the coaches.”
The sales process developed and tools we created were integrated into salesforce.com, helping UOPX leverage their CRM investment through increased adoption and reporting.
Armed with new skills and more confidence, the Workforce Solutions Advisors began having much more strategic business conversations at higher levels of prospective corporate partners (Fed Ex, Coca Cola, etc.). Where they had been reluctant to meet with senior level executives, they were now anxious and confident to proactively reach out to and learn about their prospective partners and have more meetings to tell a compelling University of Phoenix story. As of a result of our collaborative efforts the Workforce Solutions team increased the number of corporate partnerships and signed partnership agreements from 100 at the start of our involvement in August 2010 to a current number of more than 2000 in 2012.
Workforce Solutions Managers began consistently coaching to a repeatable sales process and not just situational events, reducing conflict and emotionally difficult conversations with their teams.
The partnership between OutSell and University of Phoenix elevated the skill set for the entire Workforce Solutions team and helped them successfully penetrate a market that had never been broached before.