Cases Perfomance Management

MTH Construction

MTH Construction had made several attempts to get their engineers and building contractors to adopt commercial and customer-oriented thinking – and had given up time and again. With the help from Qeep, they were able to identify and implement changes in the organisational structure that would lead to an increase in sales hit-rate by 12% and a growth in order intake from 2.9 billion to DKK 3.6 billion in an otherwise declining market.

From project focus to customer focus – sales growth of DKK 700 million

Unrealistic Goal: To establish a commercial organisation and boost revenue significantly

Outcome: Growth in revenue from DKK 2.9 billion to DKK 3.5 billion – in 12 months 

Solution: Executionable Strategy

We set out to design a new strategy for profitable growth. Qeep challenged us directly at the very first meeting by asking what we wanted to achieve. They weren’t interested in just writing a strategy report for us, they wanted to ensure execution and help us achieve the agreed result. That was something new! They pushed us hard – but respectfully – and established a relationship that I don’t normally experience with consultants
— Jens Nyhus, COO, MTH Construction

The Challenge

MTH Construction had made several attempts to get their engineers and building contractors to adopt commercial and customer-oriented thinking – and had given up time and again. With the cooling of the construction sector caused by the financial crisis, MTH Construction managed to achieve results by tightening its belt.

Now management wanted to change tactics and give the sales and tender function a boost to achieve a higher hit-rate and profitable revenue growth. The sales function had recently been centralised – in theory. However, in practice, the sales staff were still located in the regional offices and selling locally. National coordination, purchasing criteria segmentation and sales management were insufficient.

The Process

From the outset, Qeep involved both the sales staff and management in the definition of MTH Construction’s commercial breakthrough.

An impartial customer analysis revealed a clear gap between MTH Construction’s view of things and the real life situation. A performance and profile assessment also exposed disparities between the current competency level, the corporate attitude and customer expectations.

The involvement and analysis process identified the need for a new organization that matched the relevant customer segmentation. Meanwhile, a commercial director with experience managing solution sales representatives was appointed.

In phase two, Qeep coached management and new/existing sales staff to help with development and operation of the new function. With the launch of the “win sheet, personal results plan, and weekly results meetings” tools, this process ensured that MTH Construction’s commercial staff executed the planned initiatives, despite in-house resistance encountered by the department. And they achieved their ambitious goal!      

Old Habits

The MTH Construction sales staff believed they were responsible for identifying future projects and ensuring that the company had the opportunity to bid on them. However, responsibility for MTH Construction actually winning the bids rested with the tender function – not the sales department.

The sales staff were also convinced that MTH Construction was well known in the market. According to the sales staff, there was only one reason why the company lost orders – they were too expensive.

Sales to national customers were managed centrally. Thus, when necessary, MTH Construction would bid aggressively on national customers, who also had to respect the fact that they might be too busy locally to bid.

New Behaviour

MTH Construction hired a number of market managers. In the centralized commercial function, they began coordinating key customers at national level. Key customers now received regular visits and their wishes could be implemented in all projects – across the country.

Sales staff members were assigned the title of Customer Managers, with responsibility for project win rates. They were tasked with identifying, prioritizing and coordinating customer contact from the initial meeting to the landing of the order. The customer managers now coordinated all the resources and the next step was to make it easier for customers to choose different strategies. For example, customers could now negotiate directly with MTH Construction – instead of always having to put a project out to tender in order to obtain a good price.

The Results

  • 25% hit-rate – up from 13% the previous year

  • Growth in order intake from 2.9 billion to DKK 3.6 billion in a declining market

The Hero

Sales Manager John Sommer is the type of person who devotes all his energy to achieving what he sets out to do. As a consequence, people around him sometimes had trouble keeping up. When John was appointed head of the customer managers, he took on a huge management task that would take more than just energy to fulfill. John proved that he could get everyone to work as a team without losing sight of the goal. John has learned to pace his energy in order to ensure a high degree of execution among his customer managers. 

The Unrealistic Goal

Growth in profitable sales of DKK 700 million in a declining market

The Organisation

MT Højgaard is one of the leading building and construction companies in the Nordic region. The company collaborates with customers all over Denmark and abroad on projects of all sizes, from small construction projects to large-scale and complex works, infrastructure projects and the installation of foundations for offshore wind turbines.