During this Corporate Response Programme Volvo participants saw their business to business sales performance improve by over 50% in 12 months.

“I have to admit I did think the consultants were nuts at first but now I would whole-heartedly recommend Robert’s programme to anyone. Just look at the sales results before and after.
The programme gave us a positive mindset about cold call prospecting and the focus and motivation to get on and do things. It took away the fear factor that everyone has when calling someone up to ask them to buy something.
David Martin, Business Sales Manager, Lloyds Motors.

The core values of the 75-year old Volvo brand are recognized
world-wide as safety, quality and respect for the environment. As far as the corporate market is concerned these are values that fleet buyers today can quite easily relate to.

However, the Volvo board recognise that brand alone is never enough and decided to partner with Rob Purfield to deliver a corporate development programme for their Dealer Principals, Senior Sales Management and Business Sales Managers not only to enforce best corporate sales practices but also to go way beyond sales process.

Rob Purfield, human change specialist and people development expert had this to say…

“Many of the development programmes available today are based entirely upon sales process. This is fine and most definitely a requirement for automotive professionals.

However, our research shows, in this day and age successful companies wishing to move up a gear from achieving average performance to achieving outstanding performance must go well beyond sales process.

That’s why we used a combination of carefully chosen tools and techniques – such as Accelerated Learning and Insights – to go beyond sales process with the team at Volvo to achieve outstanding results with this corporate programme.










The programme involves a wide range of specialist people development techniques including the power of NLP. By combining all of this with 30+ years total motor industry sales experience and exposure to the behaviour patterns of top automotive sales performers, we believe we have something truly unique to offer the industry.”

Tom Ashford, Business Sales Manager from Kastner, told us what Insights has done for him…

“Insights was a real eye opener. What I learned helped me understand people better; to take a step back and think about the person I am dealing with. I refer to it all the time and use it every day. It’s particularly good when selling in a business to business scenario.

Roger Burhkill, Business Sales Manager from Harratts…

“Some of the background information was fascinating – particularly the Insights stuff – that could be a huge separate programme in itself – understanding different personality types when you are in a sales situation. Fascinating!”

The prospect of having to pick up the telephone and cold
call people can be a daunting thought even to the most confident sales person. There is often a lot of emotional baggage attached to this activity. The consultants tackled this effectively by demonstrating to the Volvo team how easily they could banish all of their limiting beliefs, not only for this activity but for all areas of their lives.

Business Sales Manager, Philip Ellson of William A Lewis, commented…

“The thing that stands out in my memory about the programme is the positivity it has given me towards prospecting. The whole ethos of – some will, some won’t, so move on…! has helped me tremendously when looking for new business. It’s a very positive philosophy that really works.”

This is what Gary Horn, Dealer Principal, Lloyds Motors told us…

“The programme gave our BSMs the confidence and the focus to get on and do their business. We are much more positive about cold calling. The programme has broken down all those barriers and has enforced the principles and disciplines needed to get the results. I would say to others considering a corporate programme with Robert Purfield – do it – it can only improve your business. Do not be naive enough to think that you know it all.”


When developing programmes, Rob Purfield believes a combination of focus, drive, belief and attitude are the ingredients for a successful corporate sales programme and have proved it by delivering a programme that has allowed Volvo to achieve outstanding corporate sales results consistently.

This long-term programme of coaching, training and mentoring was designed to drive high numbers in cold call prospecting and it led to outstanding results for Volvo.




The programme was organised around six key activities:

  • Dealer Assessment
  • Training
  • Coaching and Mentoring
  • A Cold Call Prospecting Drive
  • Monthly Regional Workshops and Quarterly National Motivational Forums
  • Measurement and Reporting

Dealer Assessment

Initially on-site dealer visits took place involving dealer principals and senior sales management to discuss, assess and agree programme content needs.


It all starts with a 5-day immersion course, designed specifically relating to the dealer assessment findings in line with Volvo’s strategic corporate objectives. Also throughout the programme at different events and get-togethers, further training was delivered to keep interest, motivation and momentum. The kind of material covered included:

  • Understanding different personality types in the sales situation
  • Unique approach to telephone prospecting
  • Behavioural Change
  • Successful First Meeting
  • Perception
  • Negotiating a Successful Conclusion
  • Handling Objections and Closing
  • Corporate Funding Workshop
  • The Use of Persuasive Language

Coaching and Mentoring

Monthly on-site coaching visits were carried out across the dealer network by high-energy, highly focused consultants. The dealer principal and senior sales managers were involved as well as the business sales managers. One-to-one coaching was given on all aspects of the corporate sales process, the cold calling drive and how to fix attitude to banish limiting beliefs.

The consultants would also review action plans, activities, results, customer opportunities and prospect opportunities and how they could best drive outstanding sales results through the programme.

As well as coaching and mentoring on site, the Volvo corporate team received regular support calls from the consultants throughout the programme.

Roger Burkhill, Business Sales Manager for Harratts enthused…

“A major strength of this programme has been the mentoring approach. It was extremely helpful because it does mean that you can pick up the phone, vent your spleen, bounce ideas or just cry on someone’s shoulder whenever you need to.”

Phil Ellson of William A Lewis added…

“It is quite a solitary existence in business sales. It has been really good to have Rob’s guys to talk things through with. They’ve offered help and sound advice on many occasions.

Measurement and Reporting

Rob Purfield enforced strict measurement and reporting mechanisms for capturing corporate sales activities and results. Everything was logged.

  • New enquiries
  • Prospecting calls
  • Email contacts
  • Next actions
  • Proposals sent
  • Test Drives
  • Orders taken
  • Deliveries
  • Closing ratio
  • Test-Drive ratios
  • Follow up ratios
  • Proposal ratios

League tables nationally were posted live to a private website for the Volvo team.

Cold Call Prospecting Drive

In partnership the dealer corporate team and Robert Purfield’s consultancy team worked hand in hand to develop and build a qualified database and target the business-to-business sector. A rigid cold call prospecting push was undertaken to generate significant numbers of leads which resulted in outstanding corporate sales achievements for Volvo.

In a 12-month period, this programme generated over 50,000 cold calls, resulting in almost 15,000 conversations with decision makers. From those conversations over 6000 extra test drives took place amounting to a 53% overall increase in corporate sales for participants on the programme.

Regional Workshops and National Forums

Regional workshops were held monthly and quarterly together with a National Corporate Sales Forum for the whole Volvo corporate team. It is important to communicate direct to the sales force and these events provided the perfect environment. To maintain focus, National sales results were reviewed and awards were made to the high achievers.

Industry news was presented and shared, as was best practice. Additional coaching and training sessions were included with the overall purpose of keeping motivation levels extremely high and to give clear direction moving forwards.

Alan Todd, Business Sales Manager for Murray Seafield had this to say…

“As well as having the manufacturer behind it, Rob Purfield’s people were totally committed. They were upbeat, positive and encouraging. I have been doing corporate sales for quite a few years myself and have often felt over the years that I’m on my own when the pressure is on. During this programme this was not the case. When we got together with the other guys sharing the same programme it engendered a lot more collaboration than rivalry. I found the whole programme completely enlightening – very good indeed!”

Gary Horn, Dealer Principal at Lloyds added…

“The thing about this programme for me was – it gave good management practices and encouragement to a team who’s job is quite often forgotten about by the DP and the sales management within the business. From my experience I know that it made the BSMs feel part of a national team and it was great for them to network with others doing the same job. They were able to get together regularly and let out anger, share best practices. It delivered a lot of back up and support and we got the results!”

Nick Webbe, Corporate Sales Manager from Squire Furneaux Group, said…

“The reporting process we were given for this programme is still in use in our business. Breaking everything down into; number of calls, appointments gained and distinguishing existing customer orders from prospecting orders – works really well for us. It’s great. It proves that if we follow the processes and do the whole thing properly the numbers do stack up. I think if you are willing to do the hard work, Rob’s people are great to work with and if you take their advice the sales will come. The consultants kept the impetus behind it with lots of fresh ideas to keep it interesting.”


The success of this programme is down to the unique combination of Robert’s many years of exposure to corporate sales practices in this industry as well as their in depth understanding of people’s behaviour patterns. In the beginning Rob set out to achieve, in partnership with Volvo, a 25% increase in corporate sales. He is extremely proud to say that the team more than doubled this with a 53% increase over a 12 month period! Outstanding!