Itec Connect logo

Itec Connect

The Outcome:

A transformed sales operation where the focus has moved to an Account Management model enabling the company to grow its business through a process of cross and up-selling to its substantial base of satisfied customers while still adding new customers.

“I just wanted to write formally to thank you for delivery of a first class project. In every step you have been a pleasure to work with and have delivered on everything you offered – and more.” Nick Orme, Chief Executive, Itec Connect

The Challenge

Two main factors led Itec to consider a change of direction in its go-to-market approach. Firstly, the company had grown a substantial and very satisfied customer base from its long established sophisticated Managed Print services and Document Capture & Workflow solutions and realised they needed to stay ahead of the game. Secondly the company had recently invested in another organisation that provides a range of Cloud based IT solutions which gives Itec a whole new range of services and solutions that it can offer its customers. Combining these two factors led to the conclusion that the selling model needed to be re-engineered to focus more on account management; enabling the better servicing of customers with established services while also taking the opportunity to offer new and different solutions to those same customers.

The Performative Solution

We undertook the design and delivery of an internal Sales Academy for Itec to recruit and train a cadre of new Account Managers. Before commencing the project we completed a process of “Discovery” using the Performative Sales Maturity Assessment as a foundation. The output from the discovery phase informed the design of the Academy which was developed using the established Performative Academy Framework.

Recruitment of Account Managers

The Account Managers would be fulfilling a new role, focused on the existing customer base. It was an ideal opportunity to bring in new talent and create opportunity for internal candidates to convert to sales. To acquire a new team of 12 required:

  • Sourcing of candidates both externally and from internal transfers
  • Initial filtering and interviews before passing selected candidates to customer for interview
  • Conduct and analysis of the results of an on-line sales capability assessment
  • Design and delivery of a comprehensive assessment process leading to the selection of the final 12 successful candidates who were then offered positions.

Product Manuals – Sales Enablement material

With a broader range of product and service offerings to take to market Itec recognised the need to create collateral to provide a consistent sales and customer oriented resource to support the selling efforts of the new account managers and existing sales staff.

The challenge here was to turn technical excellence into commercial superiority and equip the account managers with effective sales enablement tools.

The subject matter experts knew their products inside out, but they were mainly used to conversing with their technical counterparts. They worked in virtual silos and thus were likely to miss opportunities to cross-sell the offerings of their new colleagues.

The first job was to crystallise the Chief Executive’s vision of the documents into useable templates which provided both structure and guidance on the aims of the content of each section.

The authors were then brought together for an intense 4-day workshop to flesh out the templates. Performative provided briefings for the authors to orient their thinking in terms of Sales and Customer perspective, use of language, and consistency of style.

As the documents took shape, Performative provided collaborators and reviewers for key sections to influence the content style and consistency of terminology across the document set, challenging technical phraseology to replace it with jargon free information to help customers differentiate the Itec offering from that of other suppliers and competitors.

After the initial drafts were produced during the workshops, Performative then took on the role of editor to maintain the sales/customer orientation and consistency within and between the documents, prior to their release to the Itec staff.

On-boarding and induction

Itec already had an established induction programme focused on its recruitment of technical apprentices, but it was not suited to the task of introducing the cadre of new account managers to the wider organisation. Hence we:

  • Designed comprehensive on-boarding and induction programmes for delivery primarily by the customer’s management team
  • Undertook delivery of sales related aspects of the induction programme.

Comprehensive account management and sales L&D programme

Custom designed and delivered by Performative specifically to meet the needs of Itec and the planned mode of operation of the account managers. Some highlights of the training included:

  • Teaching the principles of “Empathy Styles” selling, psychology and body language
  • Creation of a structured account management methodology including research and profiling techniques
  • Sales skills such as; the effective use of the telephone, making appointments, conducting first meetings and delivering presentations
  • Territory, account and deal planning processes including qualification and quantification
  • Relationship management
  • Sales pipeline and forecasting process
  • In addition to the classroom activities we also undertook one-on-one coaching for the account managers at several points during the programme.

Following the training programme, periods of self-study and practical work the account managers went through a process of accreditation which included written and practical examinations of the knowledge they had acquired. We designed and adjudicated all some of the exams. All passed the first level accreditation and they moved into the full role of working with their portfolio of customers. Further accreditation levels will be undertaken later.

Additional activities

In support of the Chief Executive, as he moulded the organisation into its new identity and culture, we provided:

  • Initial design of the compensation scheme for the Account Managers
  • Design of the Account Management process and responsibilities
  • Design of the Account Managers’ reporting process
  • Design and delivery of the support and coaching programme for the Director of Account Management

Following successful completion of the main programme we continue to provide reactive and pro-active support as required.

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Deceuninck, customer creation, conversion ratios

Deceuninck

The Outcome:

A pro-active new business hunting capability with higher conversion ratios thus exceeding the previous years numbers by mid-year

“When I took on the role as MD, I had a range of issues to address across the business and having Performative to focus on the sales and selling issues enabled me to focus elsewhere.  They did a huge amount of work in a very short time and what they have created has set us on the right road to become a pro-active new business hunting company whilst retaining our capability to effectively manage existing customers.

We have already exceeded 2012’s new business orders and we are enjoying a much higher conversion rate of proposals to orders.”  Roy Frost, MD, Deceuninck UK

The Challenge

Deceuninck is active in more than 75 countries across Europe and has been in the UK for over 30 years.  They make high quality uPVC profile extrusions for double glazed windows, doors and patio doors.

In early 2013 a new UK Managing Director was recruited to return the company to growth.  He quickly realised he had issues to resolve in the sales and selling area of the business and having worked with Performative in a previous role he immediately asked us to help him.

The Performative Solution

An initial thorough analysis was conducted which revealed that while the company had a very effective account management model, the main issue to be addressed was the lack of an effective new business selling capability.  Fixing this problem was crucial if the company was to achieve its ambitious four year growth plan.

The fully documented solution, built around Performative Structured Selling® and tailored to the specific needs of Deceuninck, incorporated:

  • A fully integrated, “joined up” process linking the external appointment making service with the field sales people, and the database used for prospecting with the company’s CRM system.
  • A qualification and quantification process to focus efforts on the most promising organisations and opportunities.
  • Sales territory planning enabling better control and management of the field sales people.
  • An entirely new approach to sales proposals, turning them into a more focused business proposal for the specific prospect.
  • Training and coaching sessions for the new regime across the whole team including appointment maker, field sales staff and sales management.

In addition, to support the MD in his role as sales manager:

  • Creation of KPIs and an opportunity probability calculator.
  • Design of new commission and bonus schemes to reflect the mixed role of new business and account growth.
  • Creation of the job specification for a sales administration position.
  • Produced the design specification for a price comparison mobile app to support the sales people while selling to new prospects.

FireBelly Creative

The Outcome:

A successful sale of the business to a larger company in the same industry sector.

“Performative drove the process throughout, without which support either the business would have suffered or the deal would never have completed.  Since completion Performative have continued to support us through the early stages of integration.

I am extremely happy with the result they have obtained for us.”    Guy Meyer, MD, Firebelly Creative

The Challenge

Firebelly Creative is a successful cross platform strategic launch marketing agency using traditional & new media with AV, Digital, Print and PR capabilities.  The shareholders were looking to realise a return on the investment they had made in growing the company over the previous 2 decades by finding new owners for the business thus freeing them to focus on the activities in the business which they enjoyed most.

Performative were invited to identify potential buyers for the business and were awarded the Sale Mandate.

The Performative Solution

Performative executed a Sale Mandate which incorporated the complete management of every aspect of the transaction:

  • strategic guidance to the Board including valuation and deal structure;
  • creation of the marketing documents;
  • finding and contacting potential acquirers, conducting initial evaluation meetings and for suitable prospects orchestrating meetings with the owners;
  • working with the chosen acquirer to structure a deal that worked for all interested parties;
  • managing all aspects of the negotiation through to final agreement on the offer value and structure;
  • introduction to qualified professional services and coordination of all professional relationships;
  • review and completion of all contractual documents on behalf of the business and its owners;
  • post-transaction support to ensure the early days of the transition went smoothly.

The activity commenced in 2010 but was suspended for commercial reasons in 2011.  It was revived in May 2012 and completed at the beginning of October 2012.

Performative’s involvement enabled the owners of the company to continue to focus on their operational roles in the confident knowledge that their interests were being protected throughout the marketing and negotiating stages of the transaction and that a harmonious relationship would be maintained with the purchaser going forward.

TECG, sales process, sales pipeline, sales forecast

The Energy Conservation Group

The Outcome:

A streamlined and more effective and agile sales operation positioned for continued sector fluctuation.

“Performative made a significant contribution to securing our position as a leading quality supplier in the renewable energy market.  We now have a fully integrated sales process for both office and field staff, which has brought us more effective new business generation and better visibility of the sales pipeline. We are now better placed to respond to whatever the market, government regulations or the competition may throw at us.  We enjoyed working with Performative and found them responsive, collaborative and pragmatic, always willing to contribute and flex with the changing needs of the business.”  Chairman, TECG;

The Challenge

The Energy Conservation Group (TECG) helps homeowners and businesses conserve energy, save and make money through the design and installation of energy solutions.  Although TECG was performing well, competition in the sector was increasing and government regulations and incentives were changing, both of which created business risk.  Performative was asked to review the sales operation to find areas to streamline and improve agility and performance.

The Performative Solution

Performative initially undertook a Sales Maturity Assessment (SMA), which found:

  • Fragmented sales management
  • Leakage throughout the sales cycle leading to lost opportunities
  • Field sales motivation issues
  • Lack of sales targets
  • An over-complex lead generation process.

The issues found were compounding to create low efficiency and effectiveness.  Performative designed a Sales Performance Transformation programme to address this, which included:

  • “Lead generation” performance improvement for two telesales teams
  • Field sales performance improvement
  • Improvement of the interface between the lead generation and field sales operations
  • Recruitment and selection of both internal and external sales people
  • Definition and delivery of new sales models and associated processes
  • Induction, training and development of all sales people
  • Design and delivery of compensation plans based on achievement against selling targets
  • Definition and delivery of an optimum sales management model for the field sales people
  • Design of the optimum sales management model for the whole selling operation
  • Review of the sales “employment” model and recommendations for change
  • Preparation of a handover to TECG including the means for on-going evolution
  • Provision of on-going support and advice.

Global Mailing

The Outcome:

Performative’s work assisted Global Mailing to define and articulate its market proposition and refine its selling operation to exploit its unique position.

“It has helped us to refocus on our current products and also to look at new markets and we are working as a board far more efficiently.”  Director, Global Mailing

The Challenge

“Global Mailing is a company with an approachable human face that passionately believes in the creation of close working partnerships between customers and suppliers. By maintaining professional and straightforward communication, we continually address customers’ specific requirements, and are able to respond quickly and effectively should any unexpected demands present themselves.”

Global Mailing has a well-established international mailing business, but was promoting low price as its key differentiator.  The company wanted to grow and asked Performative to assist in analysing and addressing the issues that were preventing this from happening.

The Performative Solution

A series of structured steps enabled Performative to help Global Mailing achieve its objectives:

  • A Sales Maturity Assessment (SMA) provided an initial view of sales capability.
  • A Win-Loss review exercise proved a valuable method to uncover Global Mailing’s true differentiation as viewed through the eyes of its customers.
  • A Market Focus Review (MFR) built on the findings of the Win-Loss review which was used to develop the market proposition.
  • Work with the Executive team included business planning around the new proposition and creating a robust forecasting mechanism to enable annual revenue targets to be set.  The work with the Executive team also served to improve the effectiveness of the board and to support the creation of a three year strategy and business plan.
  • The new business plan was mapped into a sales action plan that included:
    • Creation of clearly defined and equally valued territories with an associated re-structuring of the sales team to reduce tension over prospect allocation.
    • Focus on key customer types to build knowledge of customer business to improve service and loyalty.
    • Development and implementation of a Sales Handbook covering all relevant and important sales steps and processes, in particular:
      • Pipeline creation and management.
      • Introduction of the CAPO ratio – Calls : Appointments : Proposals : Orders –  to refine forecasting accuracy and aid sales activity planning.
    • Assistance with sales recruitment to supplement the team.
SAM Learning, business growth, sales recruitment, sales training

SAM Learning

The Outcome:

The CEO was able to confidently transition to the US leaving a well-run UK operation with a good sales team that was maintaining market share in an increasingly competitive environment.

“Having Performative involved in crucial sales appointments gave me peace of mind to leave the UK and build our US operation. Subsequently, they have delivered a number of training interventions for the UK sales staff.  The proof of the pudding is in the eating; two years on and the business is going from strength to strength.”   David Jaffa, CEO, SAM Learning Ltd

The Challenge

SAM Learning is a leader in cross-curricular on-line revision and exam practice, providing students with imaginative and interactive ways to learn.

Performative was initially engaged due to the pending move of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to the US to start SAM Learning over there.  This situation meant that the UK required a senior executive to run the business in the UK.  There was also recognition that the UK required some support for the sales teams who were facing increasing competition in the market.

The Performative Solution

The first task for Performative was to use its sales experience to recruit a UK Sales Director.  Performative used a multi-step interview process and candidate profiling.  The chosen candidate was a success and has since become to UK Managing Director.

Performative did multiple projects thereafter including:

  • Delivering custom designed selling skills workshops for the UK field sales team to help the existing team of account managers to develop new business hunting skills.  This has paid off in the form of new customers being created and more accurate sales forecasts being produced.
  • Providing support in the final selection of a new business sales person for the US operation.
  • Providing sales skills training for the internal telesales team to enhance the skills of the team in three main areas:
    • Making new business appointments for the field sales team.  This included work on improving the profiling of potential customers to increase the effectiveness of the calling.
    • Increasing their skills to more effectively close small new business opportunities on the telephone.
    • Increasing their skills when “farming” existing accounts to get extension business.

Arrk

The Outcome:

Transformed sales team structure and composition to reduce reliance on too few customers and on the Managing Director as the focal point for sales, thereby positioning the company better as an acquisition target.

The Challenge

Arrk is a software development company that focuses on helping its customers improve their bottom line through the imaginative use of web and mobile technologies.

Arrk’s challenge was that it had built a strong, but small, customer base and this had become a risk to the business.  The Managing Director (MD) was also heavily involved in the success of these few customers, thereby compounding the over-reliance position.  At the time of Performative’s project, the MD was interested in the possibility of selling Arrk, so needed to ensure a robust selling operation was in place for the benefit of potential buyers.

The Performative Solution

Performative undertook a Sales Performance Transformation exercise in two stages:

  • Performative initially provided an interim Sales Director, who undertook a range of activities to structure and establish a good team.  These included:
    • Evaluating the capabilities and motivations of Arrk’s existing sales and marketing people through one-on-one interviews and psychometric tests
    • Creating a marketing/lead generation capability
    • Designing and delivering a training and development programme for sales, marketing and sales support staff
    • Managing the sales team and undertaking coaching and mentoring as required
  • In parallel to the sales team work, Performative implemented Performative Structured Selling®, which included:
    • Creating an overarching sales and marketing strategy
    • Reviewing Arrk’s current sales and marketing processes including the bidding processes and standard document used for bidding and proposals
    • Amending existing processes as required and blending with Performative Structured Selling ® to produce a complete sales and marketing approach
    • Documenting the complete process as a sales manual.