How Gilbane Creates Doer-Sellers

Part of becoming a future operations leader in Gilbane requires sales acumen in addition to leadership and risk management skills.

By Margery Weinstein

In 2010, increased competition and an ever-changing construction marketplace led Gilbane to re-examine its sales processes in order to drive sustainable long-term growth. It became clear that a broader range of sales expertise and business development was needed throughout the leadership teams to complement Gilbane’s existing business development teams.

The answer to this challenge was The Sales Transformation Program, which was developed to implement a “One Gilbane” strategy and culture, embracing a “Doer-Seller” (those who manage the construction process are also responsible for encouraging new business, contacts, and facilitating sales) mindset throughout the company where everyone sells, institutionalizing consistent processes, disciplines, skills, and tools; equipping senior leaders in operations to function as sales leaders and change agents; and achieving sustainable behavior change. Part of becoming a future operations leader in Gilbane requires sales acumen in addition to leadership and risk management skills.

In partnership with an outside consultant, Gilbane developed a program framework that integrated senior leadership involvement in design and development during the process stage, including team roles and responsibilities. Sales leadership was involved in developing a framework of coaching disciplines, tools, and metrics. And cross-functional teams were involved in implementation planning and defining the requirements for operationalizing the Doer-Seller process and the sales leadership system.

An innovative framework was created to help Doer-Sellers develop their influencing skills, which included repeatable coaching on best practices; disciplines; metrics; and tools, including playbooks, sales conversations, a sales leadership system, training workshops, and structured coaching sessions (individual and groups by region).

Defined success metrics included:

  • Number of enhanced services conversations with prioritized buyer audiences
  • Number of qualified enhanced services opportunities in existing accounts
  • Number of qualified opportunities as a result of Doer-Seller engagement

Key Performance Metrics:

  • Number of enhanced services deals closed (existing accounts)
  • Number of wins as a result of Doer-Seller engagement
  • Increased hit ratio and repeat business ratio
  • Achievement of company sales goals through a pre-designated percentage of sales generated through Doer-Seller-sourced opportunities

In 2011, the program launched with 52 senior executives serving in proactive roles of reinforcement and planning. This was followed by six two-day interactive workshops for more than 365 Doer-Sellers (project executives and regional operations management) where they were coached on skills and techniques to develop and build existing relationships, nurture new relationships, and identify/generate new prospects for business.

2011 results:

  • Doer-Seller-identified projects/prospects = 87 percent of goal
  • Booked fees from Doer-Seller-identified projects/prospects = 666 percent above goal

In 2012, Phase 2 of the program was implemented and included building on the foundation and momentum established in 2011 while adding new complements to the process, systems, and tool kits. Twelve workshops were held for more than 419 employees to both equip senior leadership with additional disciplines and advanced coaching skills, and further develop the skills of operations personnel in relationship development and new opportunity identification. A new leadership competency for Doer-Seller business development was added to Gilbane’s Core Leadership Competencies.

2012 results:

  • Doer-Seller-identified projects and prospects YTD = 93.3 percent of goal
  • Top X Account Plans reviewed with feedback YTD = 71.3 percent of goal
  • Gilbane’s hit ratio on project wins was 3 percent above 2011 and continued to climb.

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