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Business Consultation



The Skinny Version 

Sonova wanted a Global Academy creating to support the development of 200 Regional Sales Managers.

I worked with the client and target audience to define the problem and explore opportunities to improve performance, partnering on both learning strategy and operational excellence.

Managing the design, iteration and implementation of ACtivate,  an app to support the operational and development needs of the RSM and curated engaging learning content in the Global Academy to build the leadership skills required to thrive.

I delivered the launch of ACtivate in the UK and Australia with a 94% adoption rate and successfully handed over the complex project back to the client to continue roll out across all markets.

I continue to work in partnership with Sonova to iterate the app,  increase engagement, support on learning strategy and to deliver other learning initiatives within the Global RSM Academy to support the ongoing success of Audiological Care. 

The Detailed Version

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You are a super star….a Rock Solid Star .. I really appreciate what you are doing for us on this project, running it as usual with all your professionalism, passion and enthusiasm.

Gaetano Capozzolo
VP CHRM Audiological Care

The Company 

Sonova serves consumers directly under various brands (e.g. Boots Hearing Care & AudioNova). These brands form the Sonova Audiological Care Business, one of the world’s largest network of stores, which allows them to directly incorporate consumer needs into the development of innovative products and services.

The Audience

One of the most critical roles in Audiological Care is that of the 200 Regional Sales Managers (RSM) responsible for driving customer experience, sales performance and operational excellence across all of the stores and the teams of hearing care professionals who work in them. 

The Challenge

I was contacted initially to build a Global Academy of learning to support the RSMs, investment in their development had already started with an assessment of the skills and competencies of all RSMs in order to understand the key skills having the biggest impact on performance and engagement. I took the output of this and built them into a competency framework that would have a tangible impact, in order to create a suite of offline and online resources to support the success of RSMs and indeed the business. 

The Process

Research - in fact, intensive research to understand the business, the role of the RSM and what and how they most want to learn.

Prioritise problems and pain points that came out from the research.

Define a new proposal with the potential to support the retail operation, as well as HR, to give the RSMs back some of their time to invest in their own learning and development. Ensuring the desired results regarding performance and employee engagement could be achieved.

A design squad was set up to help design and iterate the solution, their support, constructive feedback and holding the app to account was crucial in achieving the new defined goals of:


Clarity and consistency - in terms of clear expectations for the RSM in their role and the fundemental elements of it.

Planning - time management is seen as a critical issue and proactive planning seen as a gap.
Accountability - enabling RSMs to drive accountability in their teams ensuring agreed actions are completed
High quality conversations - store visits, performance discussions and coaching sessions being crucial conversations that can be improved to ensure results and engagement.
Learning in the flow of work - time poor RSMs want to learn on the move, in short relevant bursts at the point of need, with videos, audio files, podcasts, but also options for longer certified courses when desired.

Collaboration to create innovation

Due to the combination of operational objectives and leadership development, I sought the help of two different suppliers, one for an off the shelf solution for retail store visits that I could highly customise to meet Sonova's needs. Also a global learning content aggregator to support development in the key skills needed to thrive as an RSM.


The Outcome


ACtivate the RSM app is accessible anywhere, for learning, setting actions, recording store visits, and structuring coaching conversations. The generic survey forms provided on the app have been highly customised and creatively designed  to ensure they meet the needs of the business and at every step this has been tested with the audience.

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The core components of the RSM role:

  • Planning,

  • Visiting stores

  • Coaching

  • Driving actions

All captured on the app to drive habitual use and sustain the desired behaviours and results.


This is enhanced by engagement tools such as

  • Leaderboards

  • Social learning

  • Engaging communication

All underpinned by a vast array of super engaging learning painstakingly curated into Playlists and Awards that can be accessed in multiple languages and formats, at the point of need or when proactively seeking development.

What do they think?

Andrew Gibb, Sales Director

"It allows me as Sales Director to direct consistent focus and clarity around expectations. The combination of the functionality to record conversations, coaching sessions and visits as well as being able to access quick and effective academy content really adds value and the mobile nature of the APP (available on phone, Ipad and laptop) removes barriers."
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