North American Energy Retailer Drives Sales Results Through the Counselor Approach

Business Issue

In order to improve their ability to win business with direct customers and through their channel partner, a North American retailer of energy and energy services sought to drive sales results by developing core sales knowledge and skills in their sales organization. Since half the group had little experience selling to direct customers, it was critical the sales team build skills to ensure they aligned with customers’ perceived value. To achieve improved sales results in the present and the future, the client understood that sales manager coaching was a significant key to ensuring ongoing success.

The client had recently adopted a new sales process and technology tools but knew they would need a shared sales methodology to achieve their goals.

Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, forcing organizations to conduct business meetings differently, sales leaders realized that their salespeople were not completely confident adapting the newly acquired skills to the virtual environment. To address the changing times, they sought additional training support to keep their salespeople flexible and credible as they ventured into virtual meetings.


The client turned to Wilson Learning, a company known for its sales methodology expertise. They embraced Wilson Learning’s The Counselor Salesperson™ program, with its problem-solving mindset and consultative skills and techniques for gaining trust, discovering business needs, aligning a solution to the customer’s perceived value, and supporting the customer after the sale.

Prior to launching The Counselor Salesperson learning journey, a Wilson Learning facilitator interviewed stakeholders to better understand the client’s environment, sales challenges, and business objectives. The information gained allowed the facilitator to enhance the workshop delivery with examples and terminology that resonated with the audience.

The organization’s sales managers gained the sales methodology skills using the self-directed (online) version of The Counselor Salesperson. This helped them support the exact skill sets their salespeople had learned. Managers then completed the Coaching the Counselor Salesperson™ learning solution and gained over 15 turnkey coaching protocols from the program’s comprehensive Coaching Playbook. This combination enabled the managers with targeted coaching skills, such as three distinct coaching conversations to debrief, change, or reinforce desired behaviors.

After each workshop, participants were provided internally developed tools to reinforce consistent application of the newly acquired skills.

When businesses were forced to adapt to virtual meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the client engaged with Wilson Learning again to customize and deliver multiple 90-minute webinars to large groups, with content based on Wilson Learning’s virtual program Counselor Selling in a Virtual Environment. Wilson Learning also created a custom coaching webinar for sales managers so they could support salespeople in using their skills virtually with customers.


The client embraced the holistic learning approach with sales manager coaching as key to embedding the new sales methodology into their sales culture.

Salespeople and sales managers were able to immediately relate the new skills to their industry, environment, and daily challenges for a more powerful learning experience.

The virtual selling skills and application examples leveraged the client’s virtual platform, promoting seamless and immediate application of the skills.

The Counselor Approach, along with the support of the sales managers, enabled salespeople with a problem-solving attitude and the ability to unlock hidden sales opportunities and align solutions with customers’ perceived value.

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