Marriott Vacation Club – The Balanced Approach

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Company: Marriott Vacation Club
Company Description: Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation is the leading global pure- play vacation ownership company offering a diverse portfolio of quality products, programs and management expertise with more than 60 resorts and more than 420,000 Owners and Members. In late 2011, Marriott Vacations Worldwide was established as an independent, public company focusing primarily on vacation ownership exp
Nomination Category: Sales Awards Achievement Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Sales Training or Coaching Program of the Year

Nomination Title: Marriott Vacation Club – The Balanced Approach

Tell the story about your organization's sales training and/or coaching program since the beginning of July 2013 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

UNIQUE CHALLENGES TO OVERCOME

Marriott Vacation Club has been the recognized leader in the timeshare industry since 1984. Always seeking to innovate, the company has embarked on several monumental initiatives to further distinguish the company. In 2010, the company changed its core product offering from a week-based to a points-based timeshare product. In 2011, it spun-off from its parent company, Marriott International to become Marriott Vacations Worldwide - the largest publically traded pure-play timeshare company in the world. These changes, while intended to address long term growth initiatives, brought unintended consequences to the sales process that posed the potential for significant challenges to our disciplined sales process which required innovative and corrective training support.

With the introduction of a new product form and a new corporate identity, we began to see in 2013 that our sales process was drifting towards a logical/mechanical presentation. The rational explanation of changes to our product form and company had seeped into our sales presentations and Sales Executives were spending significant time within their presentations on this rather than evoking the wonders of vacation ownership. Our sales presentation had tilted out of balance with too much emphasis on logic. What used to be an exciting, emotional dialogue centered on fun-filled family vacations turned towards a heavier monologue on the mechanics of our new product and company.

CUSTOMER RESEARCH

Customer focus groups and surveys confirmed that we were no longer spending enough time getting to know the needs of our guests or personalizing the presentation to meet their specific needs. Surveys from our tour-no-sale guests revealed that the reason for a non-purchase decision was not affordability. 80% of those surveyed said they would be likely buyers if we got to know them on a personal level and showed them how the product met their individual vacation needs.

THE TRAINING SOLUTION

Our instructional development team created The Balanced Approach curriculum to create a right brain / left brain balance in the sales presentation. This training program re-aligned our sales presentation from an overly logical presentation to a more emotional presentation. Through The Balanced Approach we trained more than 500 Sales Executives in our North America business segment from Aruba to Hawaii.

THE BALANCED APPROACH TRAINING

This training course was developed to help seasoned, successful Sales Executives take their selling skills to a new and higher level. It provided specific techniques to help discover the specific emotional needs of the tour guests and to customize the presentation to addresses those specific needs. It contained powerful modules on relationship building, emotional value, using personalized discovery to uncover emotional buying themes and the power of storytelling within the presentation. It also powerfully focused on techniques to help the customer to make quicker buying decisions by “starting with why”.

Support course materials were developed to include emotional packaging, participant guides, multimedia video elements and “Why” cards to jumpstart Discovery conversation and infuse emotional based stories into their sales presentation. Since this was a course to help develop the emotional side of the sales presentation the packaging of the course materials was very important to us.

“It was outstanding. Best training I have seen for this business in 20 years. It really opened up a lot of eyes to a better and more successful approach.”

Typically the strongest measure of success is associated with added sales volume and other financial metrics. This effort had great results both psychologically and financially. It provided a new sense of excitement and re-awakening for our sales executives across all performance levels and site leadership.

Financially speaking, as of this date our full year earnings for 2014 have not yet been released but 3rd quarter financial results show dramatic year-over-year improvement. Volume per guest (VPG) for our North America business increased 6.9% year-over year to $3,477. With a projected tour flow of 156,000 guests, this enhanced VPG adds more than $39 Million in new sales volume.

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