Bigrock’s History

2004 – Our First Steps

In 2004, Chris Larkin founded Pure Sales Consulting and soon began working with our first client, M&G Investments...
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2004 – Our First Steps

In 2004, Chris Larkin founded Pure Sales Consulting and soon began working with our first client, M&G Investments. This first project saw us deliver consultancy support and skills training in what would become Bigrock’s core areas of specialism; Sales, Management and Leadership.

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2005 – Performance Management & Competency Frameworks

As well as projects with Coutts and Prudential...
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2005 – Performance Management & Competency Frameworks

As well as projects with Coutts and Prudential, 2005 saw the first engagement in our long standing relationship with AXA. Between 2005 and 2013, we worked with a number of different business areas across AXA to optimise their approach to intermediated sales, management and leadership. Over the years we developed a cloud based software system to help AXA manage their competency frameworks, develop their people and drive efficiency in performance management. This system became OX Core. Discover more here.

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2006 – New Topics, New Specialisms

In 2006, as our relationship with AXA grew, we also began to work with clients in the Wealth...
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2006 – New Topics, New Specialisms

In 2006, as our relationship with AXA grew, we also began to work with clients in the Wealth Management and Employee Benefits space. As well as Leadership and Management training, we delivered our first Presentation and Negotiation courses in Alexander Forbes. We also delivered our first Executive Coaching programme. In addition, 2006 saw the beginnings of our ongoing relationship with Scottish Widows. Our largest project this year was with Lloyds TSB, where we delivered consultative sales and management training to c. 1200 people. Discover more about this programme here.

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2007-8 – Growth & Development

2007 and 2008 were years of growth and development for Bigrock. Throughout this...
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2007-08 – Growth & Development

2007 and 2008 were years of growth and development for Bigrock. Throughout this chapter in our history, we continued to work with Alexander Forbes, AXA, Lloyds TSB & Scottish Widows on a number of training and development initiatives. We also delivered programmes in St James Place, Motaquote and Bupa. Our work with Bupa involved a full review and relaunch of their distribution channel, with additional support and training for their Managers and Leaders. This was a major project that saw Bigrock engage a wide range of Consultants, many of whom still work with us today.

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2009 – Academic Partners

2009 saw the beginnings of our partnership with Ashridge Executive Education, now part of HULT International Business School...
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2009 – Academic Partners

2009 saw the beginnings of our partnership with Ashridge Executive Education, now part of HULT International Business School. Over the years we have collaborated with Ashridge to bring fresh insights, experience and expertise to our mutual clients. First class learning materials from Ashridge’s online library, Virtual Ashridge, have been used in our OX Core systems and, later on, helped inspire our mobile apps. In later years, we also developed a post graduate certificate in Key Account Management with Ashridge. In 2009, we continued to work on key projects for Alexander Forbes, AXA, Lloyds TSB, Scottish Widows and Bupa.

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2010 – Relocation, Relocation, Partnership & Collaboration

2010 saw us relocate to our Apollo Court office and work with a range of new...
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2010 – Relocation, Relocation, Partnership & Collaboration

2010 saw us relocate to our Apollo Court office and work with a range of new clients including, Barclays Wealth, Friends Life, HBOS and Santander. We worked with over 1000 sales people, Managers and Leaders across Santander in one of our largest projects to date. Yet the biggest excitement of 2010 was our win at the Scottish Training Awards. Pure Sales and Scottish Widows won the National Training Award for Partnership & Collaboration for our change programme. In this programme, we worked alongside Scottish Widows’ internal L&D team to integrate the Scottish Widows and Clerical Medical sales divisions and launch a single distribution channel to market. The success of this programme was profound. Not only did the teams integrate effectively, they also managed to overcome the ‘pain of change’ to achieve a 345% increase in business written. Learn more here.

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2011 – Pure Sales becomes Bigrock

In 2011, Pure Sales Consulting became Bigrock People Performance Solutions. Our new name...
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2011 – Pure Sales becomes Bigrock

In 2011, Pure Sales Consulting became Bigrock People Performance Solutions. Our new name was driven by a desire to show the breadth of people development and change management services we offer. By 2011, as well as sales programmes, we were also regularly delivering broader change programmes, leadership events, management workshops, and negotiation and presentation courses. As well as consultancy, we offered a range of training, coaching and software solutions. 2011 also saw us deliver our first big programme in Key Account Management & Strategic Account Management for Aviva UK. See more about this programme here. As well as Aviva, we also began working with Lorica, NFU Mutual and Pitney Bowes.

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2012 – Innovation, Technology & Compliance

The success of our OX Core systems in AXA was recognised at the 2012 Learning Awards, where...
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2012 – Innovation, Technology & Compliance

The success of our OX Core systems in AXA was recognised at the 2012 Learning Awards, where we reached the finals in two categories; Innovation in Learning Services and Learning Technologies Solution of the Year. As well as AXA, we continued to work with a number of historic clients, including Prudential, Barclays Wealth and Lorica. We also began projects with several new clients including Bluefin, RBS, Smith & Williamson and Skipton Building Society. 2012 was a big year for many of our Financial Services clients as they prepared for the introduction of the Retail Distribution Review. Bigrock helped a number of clients develop and implement a customer centric approach to sales that complied with the RDR changes whilst remaining effective and efficient. Learn more our RDR programme in Scottish Widows here.

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2013 – The Rolling Wave

In 2013 we partnered with Skipton Building Society to deliver training to over 870 Leaders, Managers and Advisers. The programme...
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2013 – The Rolling Wave

In 2013 we partnered with Skipton Building Society to deliver training to over 870 Leaders, Managers and Advisers. The programme included an innovative Rolling Wave embedding programme, where our Consultants visited each branch to help support Managers and Advisers as they implemented their learning. This support ‘rolled’ from region to region, branch to branch. The success of this programme was later recognised at the 2014 Training Journal Awards, where we were finalists in two categories; Best Commercial Programme and Best Training Partnership. Learn more here. 2013 also saw us begin to deliver training more globally, with a programme for Aviva Ireland and delivery in Cyprus for Barclays Wealth. Closer to home, we worked with Wesleyan Assurance Society to implement and manage best practice capability frameworks and optimise performance, in line with new RDR regulations. Learn more here. We also exhibited at Learning Technologies for the first time.

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2014 – Global adventures and sporting partners

In 2014 we delivered a major project with Barclays Wealth, which saw us deliver...
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2014 – Global adventures and sporting partners

In 2014 we delivered a major project with Barclays Wealth, which saw us deliver throughout the globe; in Singapore and London, the Channel Islands, Isle of Mann and Mumbai. We worked with CBRE’s Leaders at an event in Sicily, which led to multiple programmes with CBRE’s many service lines and divisions across the globe. Bigrock also worked with a number of other new clients including Helm Godfrey, the Financial Adviser School, Aberdeen Asset Management, Barnett Waddingham, Aegon and Ipsos. For CBRE and Aberdeen Asset Management we designed and delivered our first Pitch courses. We also delivered a telephony sales programme for Wesleyan’s General Insurance division. 2014 saw the beginning of our partnership with Northampton Saints Rugby Club and the release of our first white papers on Behavioural Economics.

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2015 – America, Academies and Apps

In 2015, we first crossed the pond to deliver bespoke workshops for both Barclays and...
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2015 – America, Academies and Apps

In 2015, we first crossed the pond to deliver bespoke workshops for both Barclays and CBRE in America. Back in the UK and EMEA, we delivered specialised Client Care, Pitch, Negotiation and Business Development courses as part of CBRE’s academy, in London, Manchester, Prague and Madrid. We also trained over 450 telephony advisers and account managers in Aviva Ireland. Other new clients included Daimler / Mercedes-Benz, Ageas, ACE, MetLife, Standard Life and Countrywide. Our relationship with Mercedes-Benz began with a telephone sales programme for their Daimler Insurance team. Following the success of this programme (learn more here), we were asked to deliver customer service programmes for Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and Group Fleet Services, whilst providing ongoing coaching and support for the Insurance team. 2015 also saw the launch of our first mobile apps, starting with our Negotiation app.

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2016 – Blended Learning Journey

In 2016, we made a great leap forward in the design and development of our digital...
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2016 – Blended Learning Journey

In 2016, we made a great leap forward in the design and development of our digital and online learning suite. We also developed a more experiential, scenario driven approach for workshops and courses. Overall, this has enabled us to offer a fully blended learning journey that appeals to a range of development styles. Learners benefit from first class digital learning that directly mirrors the models and techniques they practised at their workshops and during coaching. We continued our relationships with CBRE, Mercedes-Benz, Barclays, Ageas, Wesleyan, Aegon and Smith & Williamson and also delivered a programme for our friends at Ashridge Executive Education. Other new clients included BlueBay Asset Management, NEST pensions and Hanover Search Group. 2016 also saw us deliver Executive Coaching to Leaders in the USA via video call and develop a partnership offering that makes Bigrock learning more accessible for both smaller and larger businesses. Learn more about Bigrock Development Partnerships here.

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2017 – Looking to the Future…

We have begun the year by exploring how digital disruption and changing markets are...
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2017 – Looking to the Future…

We have begun the year by exploring how digital disruption and changing markets are impacting our different clients. Several leadership teams have engaged us to design and deliver organisational change programmes to help them stay ahead of the competition and succeed and thrive in the years to come. We continue to develop a blended approach to learning, that combines practical workshops with online learning solutions, all designed and delivered by topic experts, with real experience in role. If you would like to know more about our latest thinking and news check out our Blog here.