Mihai Arghire, Senior Trainer & Partner Brightway, explained, in an interview for AdHugger, some details related to the training and consultancy business he is partner in. According to him, Brightway is a training and consultancy company that offers both soft and hard skills training programs, frequently followed by consultancy for business process optimization and business coaching sessions; in the same time, the company doesn’t have a standard recipe to apply during its activities, as every market has it’s specifics and each company is unique.
AdHugger: What are the personal development programs that Brightway delivers and what is the portrait of the customer?
Mihai Arghire: Brightway is a training and consultancy company that offers both soft and hard skills training programs, frequently followed by consultancy for business process optimization and business coaching sessions. Practically, we help managers to implement efficient leadership systems in their organizations, motivate their teams and increase engagement, we train sales people to increase their conversion and closing rates and be more persuasive; we build customer care processes, enhance internal and external communication flows and help people to manage their projects better.
We have an innovative learning method, our training programs are based on a business simulation where participants become more aware of how they can improve their daily activity; they receive professional management tools, analyze their own challenges and find practical solutions, that can be implemented in their daily job.
Our clients are divided into two groups: small and medium-sized enterprises on one hand and corporations on the other hand. In most cases, the small and medium-sized companies adress us with a problem, for example: shareholders have little control over the team and don’t know why some people are performing great and others don’t meet expectations, the management wants to define a better sales process and a new approach on customers to increase sales, the management wants to define KPI’s and measure performance more objectively. All the above require both training, to set a common ground for all team members, and also a consultancy program, with an average duration of six months, to implement the strategies in the organization.
As for the corporations, they have a well defined process and rather want to increase engagement and develop specific skills for their employees, like negotiation, public speaking, decision making, dealing with difficult clients. In this case also training programs are usually followed by business coaching sessions.
AdH: How can business consultancy, your speciality, can help an entrepreneur, a manager, to consolidate his brand?
M.A: A brand can refer to a personal brand, a product brand or a company brand that reflects on customers, prospects and employees. First, every market has it’s specificities and each company is unique, so we don’t have a standard recipe. We make an analysis to find out the exact necessities; in many cases, what the client wants is different than what the client really needs; after that, we analyze the marketing processes and particularities of the industry. After this starting point, we can set, together with the management, measurable goals to achieve through a consultancy program.
In order to increase the value of a brand we need to identify the marketing mix that brings the best results, make a strong marketing plan, correlate it with sales and customer service strategies. And, most important of all, implement all the strategies. We don’t just produce ideas, we make things happen, together with our clients. But results don’t happen over night, it’s a process that can take 4 up to 18 months.
AdH: Can you name a specific case? (without mentioning the brand)
M.A.: Yes, of course. We work with a company that distributes medical products and has also a pharmaceutical chain. It’s an entrepreneurial company that after 5 yeas of exponential growth confronted with several challenges. There were important differences between ordered quantities and actual deliveries, that affected the brand credibility and also caused monthly losses.
The sales team was comprised of hard working and passionate people, but a lot of the processes were outdated and people were guiding their activities mostly using personal experience rather than anorganizational strategy. Also, shareholders wanted to share their new management vision with the team – and make align their actions to the new direction.
After a leadership and a sales training we started various projects with the department managers, that aimed to tackle the problems mentioned by the management and improve business results. After 8 months we reduced logistics mistakes from 84 per month to 0, through a totally new internal process. Also, we implemented KPI’s and a sales process focused on the new goals, we broke old patterns and helped employees to enhance their communication and sales skills. All these facts reflected in a 35% increase in turnover.
Practically, we built brand authority and increase market share by changing behaviors, developing new skills and optimizing the architecture of the business processes, at the same time.
AdH: Did you work with businesses that needed a rebranding process?
M.A.: Yes, we had. But I want to mention that we don’t offer advertising consultancy or create new brands, that is the job of an advertising company. We help our clients to reposition their business strategy, to set a new development direction and to implement it practically, so that the company can adapt to market changes.
Here’s an example. Last year, a client of ours from the agribusiness industry expanded vertically and started to have more contact with the consumer. They requested our help for defining a strategy for B2C sales, adapting old B2B sales processes to the new paradigm. For this, our trainers delivered a set of change management and leadership trainings for all the middle and top managers within the new group of companies, in order to align their goals and vision.
AdH: Brands from what specific industries require customer care consultancy programs? What exactly do they want to improve in their teams?
M.A.: In 2014 we delivered customer care programs to companies from industries like: medical services, telecom, banking and construction materials. A good customer care philosophy is vital not only for sales support departments, but for every person from an organization, especially those who interact with the client.
Sam Walton once said that there is only one boss in an organization: the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company starting with the chairman, simply by spending his money somewhere else. The goal of a customer care program is to increase awareness about the importance of quality services, build a customer orientated organizational culture, develop employees ability to create durable relationships with clients and increase loyalty.
AdH: Does an entreprenuer really needs marketing and PR insights and, from your experience, how many understand their importance in the business process? Do you see a connection between branding and sales results?
M.A.: Organizations are made by people, brands are represented by sales and marketing departments. We often say „I talked with the guy from Company X…” and vice versa, sometimes a person leaves from a company and a large group of clients follows him or her because the personal brand triumphs over the company’s brand. So I think people, brand and sales process blend in the decision of the customer.
Marketing insights and researches are essential for creating an efficient sales process, that people can implement to engage customers.
AdH: How hard it is for a manager to infuse the brand story to his people? What are the instruments he can use for this and how exactly a training and consultancy company can help him?
M.A.: If you truly believe in what you have to say, your ideas, product and brand it’s easy to transmit your vision to others. Passion is a vital ingredient if you want your message to resonate with other people. Of course there are challenges, especially when an organization has a large number of employees.
A training and consultancy company can help by providing an unique experience to the members of the team, and, as a consequence, they can understand their role in the organization, align personal goals with organizational vision and develop a new set of skills. All these arenecessary to write another page in the story of the brand.
Also, we must forget that a successful story is about profit, and a consultancy company can help shareholders, entrepreneurs and managers to choose wise among multiple business strategies and create a productive organizational structure.
Mihai Arghire is Partner Brightway and senior trainer, author of original training programmes. Mihai is specialised in developing sales teams and also in implementing a leadership system that delivers results in companies, through: sales trainings, negociation, leadership and consultancy programs for business process optimisation.
Brightway is one of the most important companies that deliver training and management consultancy, with over 10 years of expertise in Romanian market.