Gilbane is one of the largest privately held family-owned construction and facility solutions providers in the industry.
Bill Gilbane, President and COO
Dennis Cornick, EVP Sales and Marketing
Gilbane needed to grow the business and maintain profitability in the midst of intense market competition. At the same time, Gilbane was seeing a change in the industry with customers wanting interaction with operations (those managing the actual construction) earlier in the sales process.
“Training events don’t change people and even though we had very interesting, exciting, interactive training events, that was really the starting point of the change. The change process really took place as DSG engaged Gilbane managers monthly and sometimes multiple times across the month in coaching, in reinforcement and ongoing training to support the managers in driving the change that was required.”
SCOTT PRESSE, CONSULTING PRINCIPAL, DSG
The Big Idea at Gilbane was the concept of a “Doer-Seller” model. In order to address changing customer requirements and the need to grow revenue in a hyper competitive market, Gilbane decided to expand the number of people focused on business development through a Doer-Seller approach. The Doer-Seller concept meant taking people with operational responsibility (the “Doer” part) and equipping them with the confidence and ability to embrace seller responsibilities within existing accounts, new accounts and their broader networks.
Why Involve a 3rd Party in the Transformation?
After six months of implementing the change program in-house, Gilbane found they needed outside help to drive consistency and add momentum to the sales transformation initiative. In searching for the ideal firm to help lead the initiative, they wanted someone who could provide a proven structure, bring additional bandwidth and engage in a performance-based structure—a partner willing to share in the risk or the reward based on the success of the program.
“In the beginning, we thought we could drive the transformation internally. But after six months of experimenting, we found that we were not able to focus on the program to the level we thought we could and drive consistency across the entire organization. We needed a partner.”
DENNIS CORNICK, GILBANE EVP SALES AND MARKETING
DSG worked with Gilbane to provide the consistency needed to drive real transformation. The process included four primary components:
“DSG took more time than their competitors to understand our business and what was important to us in this initiative. Then they came back and developed an approach and a detailed plan that we refined and validated together.”
Providing cross-industry insight into selling best practices. Gilbane appreciated the broad perspective supplied by DSG’s experience across multiple industries over 20 years. The company was seeking to bring in fresh ideas and insight from industries outside their own market space and saw value in DSG’s insight from the IT, Healthcare, Business Service and Manufacturing industries.
Operating as an objective 3rd party while learning the Gilbane culture. DSG provided valuable insights as outsiders, but they also operated as insiders with a deep understanding of the Gilbane culture. By forging relationships of trust within the company, DSG was able serve as an architect of lasting change.
Engaging executives. DSG addressed executives at the top of the organization to gain and maintain their commitment to change, but they also worked with the Gilbane management team to drive and support implementation.
Defining the core identity shift. Many at Gilbane had spent their entire careers as operations professionals—people responsible for constructing buildings safely, within budget and on schedule. They were suddenly asked to shift their identities from being “builders of buildings” to “builders of Gilbane business.” DSG helped define and communicate this vision along with why it mattered so that the organization— showcasing the value and meaning behind the new identify not just the requirement to change.
“We were very intrigued when we saw that the majority of DSG’s work was outside the construction industry. We wanted a fresh approach. We wanted a partner that had worked for Fortune 500 companies that were outside of our industry and could bring innovative perspectives.”