How Transfield Services’ Facilities Management Unit went from zero marketing to total Sales & Marketing alignment and a clear plan for growth
Transfield Services (now operating as Broadspectrum, a Ventia Services Company) is a leading global provider of operations, maintenance, and asset and project management services to key industries in the Industrial, Infrastructure, Facilities Management, and Property sectors in Australia and New Zealand.
Several years ago, George Spink was tasked with running the Facilities Management Group of Transfield Services – Australia, tendering for and carrying out management and maintenance of major roads, rail and water assets, water treatment plants, power stations, oil and gas facilities and buildings and building infrastructure.
George described the situation at hand:
“In simple terms, facilities management – if it’s a new term – is about maintaining the built environment, whether it be the air conditioning, lighting or electrical, architectural elements, through to janitorial services and landscaping.
So when I took on the role at Transfield services, I had my head around what facilities management entailed, but quickly realised that we needed to find new ways to continue to grow in a competitive and small market.”
Having taken on the challenge of heading up Facilities Management in Australia, George was desperately searching for ways to stimulate new growth. But at the time, competitive forces were increasing, they had a very small business team with limited resources, and George identified some clear issues with their strategies:
They had no clear direction, and weren’t positioning with any specific customer or market.
They were presenting buyer’s with generic solutions.
Their focus was on making a sale, not solving the buyer’s problem.
Their team of sales & business development people lacked marketing know-how.
We didn’t have a marketing team that was responsible for demand generation, so sales and marketing alignment was non-existent.
Subsequently, the team was finding it challenging to meet growth expectations. And, in their desperate attempt to find and apply for more tenders, they didn’t have the time to properly engage with their customers to understand the solution they should be offering.
Big expectations fuelled a change of direction
At that time, Transfield Services was expecting the FM Business Unit to grow in excess of 20-30% per year. On a turnover of $500 million, George needed to find about $100 million worth of growth a year, and he knew he wasn’t going to find it reading tenders in a newspaper.
As a self-confessed marketing novice and sceptic, George wasn’t really sure what marketing could do for the business. But with no alignment or marketing skills in the team, he decided he needed to take a step back and learn more about marketing.
“I was still somewhat of a sceptic in regards to what marketing meant and what it could do for our business. In hindsight I was getting it confused with advertising, but when I really started to understand what marketing was, I took a step back, and realised we needed some Sales & Marketing balance by developing a marketing capability that could actually generate demand for our services.”
“With the problem clearer in my mind, I went looking for answers and for an organisation or consultant who might help me get greater clarity on my needs and provide an approach to addressing my problem. A referral from a Sales Training vendor we were using led me to
Brett Bonser of align.me.”
10 people, 3 days, 1 plan for growth
Funnel Camp is an intensive, 3-day planning workshop to provide organisations with the change required to break down impediments to growth. The facilitated program specifically addresses the most common sales and marketing management issues in business today, while delivering a highly actionable sales and marketing plan to prosecute strategy.
“With align.me’s guidance, we brought a cross-section of people together from Operations, Business Development and Sales and Marketing – everyone from the experienced but naturally sceptical commercial manager, to the young and keen Business Development group.”
“The first few hours of the meeting we were in internal discussion, but we soon switched to thinking about our market, customer problem and company solution using align.me’s Funnel Camp tools. Even by the end of day one, the change in our entire team attitudes and approach was remarkably different.”
By the end of day one of Funnel Camp, I sat back and said “Wow!”
Total alignment and a lasting impression
By the end of the three-day Funnel Camp, the Transfield Services team was in a position they never had been before – and George was convinced that they finally had a marketing plan that would deliver. They left the workshop with:
A clear plan for growth
The Transfield Serves FM group left with a Funnel Plan – a one page, 3-year plan for growth that the team had developed together and could be easily (and collaboratively) followed.
Aligned internal team
Members from each team were able to align themselves to a customer problem that Transfield could solve in the market. It was the first time there had been alignment and agreement on the direction they needed to go.
A switch to focus on the customer problem
After 18 months of trying to agree on a direction and having no luck, the team were able to agree on the direction they would take by focusing on the customer problem, rather than the service they were selling.
We walked away with an aligned team around a common problem, and a clear plan for growth.
It was a real turning point for Transfield Services.
A few years after attending Funnel Camp and achieving great success as head of the Facilities Management Group, George moved to the United States to take on the role of Chief Executive Officer at USM (Transfield Services’ United States subsidiary). So impressed by the power of alignment Funnel Camp has provided, he repeated the alignment process with his new team at USM.
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