A fully integrated and complete end-to-end sales process that underpinned the company’s healthy performance and enabled a corporate sale at a healthy multiplier.
“As a result of Performative developing and executing the Sales Performance Transformation Programme they achieved more in 4 months than we had been able to achieve during the previous 18 months.”
“Performative undertook three assignments for us between 2003 and 2005 including the customisation and deployment of Performative Structured Selling® of which the key principles are still in use today. We have come to realise the true benefit of this robust methodology as it remains a constant in the business regardless of the changes in personnel, market and proposition. The work done by Performative created a great foundation for what is now a very successful business.” MD, Smart421
Smart421 is a well-established systems integrator/software consultancy specialising in innovative business solutions at the sharp end of the IT industry. Prior to engaging Performative, the Smart421 board was facing falling revenues, and remedial actions over the previous 18 month period had been unsuccessful. Smart421 was keen to reverse this situation and aspired to a sales function that could grow existing customer relationships as well as find contracts with new companies.
The Performative Solution
The Performative Sales Maturity Assessment (SMA) uncovered many areas that required attention. A two phase approach resulted in the following deliverables:
- A pragmatic restructuring of the existing go-to-market model to provide a fully integrated end-to-end process.
- Separate sales teams for “new customer creation” and “account growth”.
- Initial focus on growth from existing customers to stabilise the business.
- A structured and supported outbound telephone “lead generation” function.
- Qualification and quantification processes for new customers and opportunities.
- Re-defined customer proposition and target markets.
- Sales recruitment, training and coaching.
- Providing an interim sales director and recruiting a permanent replacement.
- Design and roll-out of a new sales compensation scheme.
- Sales management coaching.
- New processes and templates for Account Planning and Deal Planning.
- A blended learning programme to cover all sales processes for sales and delivery staff.
- CRM and pipeline improvement plans to improve revenue forecasting.
A well-focused and carefully positioned market offering and go-to-market model.
“Working with Performative helped management and the board clarify its strategy for the next stage of the company’s development. It also greatly improved the quality of engagement with potential customers and our ability to forecast outcomes from those.” Philip Neame, MD, IMD
Integral Mobile Data (IMD, now owned by Hytec) spent its first four years developing a mobile computing solution that enabled companies to improve customer service and reduce costs by providing mobile staff tailored task-orientated computing power in the field.
IMD engaged Performative to help move the focus of the business onto sales and marketing to grow revenue and to move into a profitable position.
The Performative Solution
Performative initially led the management team through a Market Focus Review (MFR) designed to review and consider:
- The objectives of the next stage of the business, to provide context for the activities.
- The business assets – products, knowledge, processes – and consider exploitation possibilities.
- Target market and customers.
- The portfolio and its positioning.
Subsequent work focused on addressing the points raised in the MFR and included:
- An extensive win-loss review exercise, which explored the reasons for IMD’s past success or failure at closing contracts. This exercise helped in understanding customer perceptions, which fed into defining the true value and positioning of the company and its products.
- Full definition of the product portfolio and its market proposition.
- A target market strategy including research into potential target companies.
- A promotion strategy to rapidly create visibility to a large market.
- A multi-level sales model to ensure that IMD targeted senior customers and did not sell purely at the technical level.
A fully functioning, market aligned sales operation with a newly appointed Sales Director.
“The work done by Performative helped us establish a complete and structured approach to selling which gave us the means to grow the business in a controlled and predictable manner.
Performative helped pave the way for the steady year-on-year revenue increases that we have enjoyed following the completion of their work.” Paul Bragg, MD, Adept Scientific
Adept Scientific is a leading supplier of software and hardware to the research, science and engineering sectors. Adept’s extensive product range combined with superior service and support helps customers collect, analyse, simulate, organise and present data to deliver information and knowledge. Prior to engaging with Performative, Adept had become frustrated by the lack of business growth. Not unusually for a smaller business, Adept’s owners are experts in their field – in this case, science – and had achieved business success through their passion and knowledge of the subject, but they are not professional salespeople and did not have the experience to optimise their sales team to improve revenues.
The Performative Solution
Performative used a number of interventions to build a structured sales operation for Adept:
- A Sales Maturity Assessment (SMA) provided an assessment of existing sales capability and what needed to change to bring about the desired change in performance.
- A Market Focus Review (MFR) to improve understanding of Adept’s market proposition and how the sales people should exploit it to acquire new customers and gain additional business from existing customers.
- Restructuring of the sales force to provide appropriate effort to both new business development and existing account management; this led to more energy being focused on key accounts which held untapped growth potential.
- Introduction of territory and account planning tools and techniques.
- Introduction of qualification and quantification methods to assist with customer development, opportunity pursuit and pipeline management, reporting & sales forecasting.
- Design and delivery of training courses in selling skills as well as in the specially designed processes that had been implemented.
- Support for the recruitment of new sales people including design and deployment of an induction program for new recruits.
- Performative then provided an Interim Sales Director to embed the new sales approach while managing the sales team on a day-to-day basis. A recruitment campaign for a permanent head of sales was designed and implemented, followed by an induction programme and provision of on-going support for a period after his recruitment.
The end result was a fully integrated end-to-end Lead Generation process that focused on target customers and ensured valuable sales resource was engaged appropriately and at the correct time in the sales cycle. This process delivered in excess of 10 fully qualified new customer opportunities against which in excess of £330,000 additional business was secured.
“As a result of Performative developing and executing the Performance Initiative Programme we have benefited from the potential of more leads in 4 months than we would have been able to generate ourselves in 12 months.” Divisional Head, ERA Technology
ERA Technology provides specialist engineering consultancy to owners and operators of large-value capital assets and systems; helping clients to reduce risk, improve operational performance and comply with functional safety and regulatory requirements. The division of ERA focused on the Telco sector was finding it increasingly difficult to find and win new business. A very large customer was also planning to move to off-shore operations thereby threatening the loss of a major revenue stream. The management team recognised the need to rapidly gear up to proactively acquire and develop new customers, but there was a lack of internal sales staff to focus on this as they were fully engaged in protecting the existing revenue.
The Performative Solution
ERA engaged Performative to assist in the drive to increase new business. An initial Sales Maturity Assessment (SMA) confirmed a number of potential improvement areas, which led to a two phase Lead Generation programme.
Phase 1 involved a series of preparation steps, tailored to the divisional objectives, to establish a solid and reliable base for generating new contacts. This included:
- Crystallising the value proposition and defining Service Lines and associated benefits.
- Conducting structured “sales focus” workshops, resulting in a re-definition of the ERA product proposition and the market segments to be targeted.
- Developing and implementing processes to separate new customer creation and development from the identification and pursuit of individual sales opportunities.
- Creating a fully populated database of potential new customer contacts.
Phase 2 involved:
- Creating an effective telephone-based Lead Generation process.
- Undertaking the Lead Generation process designed to generate qualified meetings for the ERA sales team with a view to creating 8-10 new customers.
- Handing over structured information packs to the sales team for the arranged meetings.
- Assisting with the transition of this approach, and the associated knowledge, in house.
A transformed sales operation, which supported a successful Management Buy Out.
“Following the successful completion of a Sales Performance Transformation programme, Performative continued to work with us in support of a plan to effect a management buyout by existing senior executives. Their wealth of business experience and specific knowledge of the M&A market enabled Performative to provide me with real practical help in finding my way through the minefield of the MBO. In particular it helped me to understand what to expect from the accountants, lawyers and banks, and thus prepare for their processes in funding an MBO. Performative also provided invaluable assistance to the members of the MBO team. Without the support of Performative this would have been a much more difficult exercise peppered with pitfalls.” Philip Coombes, CEO Fibre Technologies Ltd.
Fibre Technologies Limited (FTL) is a specialist supplier of fibre optic and copper communication products and services.
The company was keen to grow and felt that a more professional selling operation was a key enabler to achieving this goal.
The Performative Solution
Performative worked with FTL over an 18 month period, taking them through a number of stages to completely transform sales performance:
- A Sales Maturity Assessment (SMA) provided an in-depth analysis of FTL’s market proposition and sales capability.
- The SMA confirmed that the market proposition required more work to create value and differentiation with clearly articulated and consistent messaging. A Market Focus Review (MFR) addressed this issue.
- A Sales Plan set out a clear route forward in terms of target markets, routes to market, sales structure and revenue targets.
- Sales process design and implementation activity included:
- Qualification and quantification
- Account planning and intra-account networking
- Account management
- Pipeline reporting
- Sales skills training programme.
- Recruiting additional sales people replacing under-performers
Performative also provided on-going support and coaching to ensure effective sales management.
Over a four month period, Performative assisted this particular LSC to reach many of the medium to larger organisations in its area. Using Performative’s unique business development approach, the LSC gained visit opportunities in 1 out of every 5 potential customers on the database.
“I was delighted with the excellent customer service from the team both in terms of professional advice and responsiveness.” Director, LSC
A local Learning & Skills Council (LSC) had launched ‘Profit from Learning’, a Government sponsored initiative designed to offer NVQ Level 2 training to thousands of businesses across the UK. Following a successful pilot, and working in conjunction with the local Business Link, they had reached 1,000 companies and provided learning opportunities to around 4,000 individuals in their region. As a result of this success, and following further investment, the initiative was extended with the ultimate aim of reaching the Government’s target of 12,500 learner opportunities throughout the region.
The LSC Director recognised that to create higher learner numbers they needed to overcome the challenge of developing opportunities in the medium to large organisations, which had previously proved more difficult. In particular, they wished to gain appointments for LSC Skills Brokers to visit these organisations, in order to discuss the benefits of the ‘Profit from Learning’ scheme.
The Performative Solution
Performative worked with the LSC to structure and run a Lead Generation programme to meet the objectives of accessing larger organisations. The process followed three phases:
- Initiation: This crucial phase established the foundation of the whole programme by creating a well-structured framework. Key elements included:
- Agreement of the aims, objectives and success criteria.
- Market segmentation, target companies and contact types.
- Contact database creation/refinement.
- Proposition: This important step ensured that the messages were clear and concise:
- Definition of the detailed market proposition.
- Tailoring of the message to different target contact types.
- Supporting collateral.
- Ramp Up: This phase initiated the actual Lead Generation activity and included:
- Intensive, but highly targeted telephone calling.
- Setting appointments and ensuring onward briefing to LSC staff.
- Review and refinement of the proposition in the light of feedback from various types of decision maker.
A refined proposition reflecting the value to the customer and a more systematic approach to selling enabling greater forecast reliability.
“The Performative Sales Performance Transformation programme enabled Mantix to develop a much stronger sales culture and focus on key accounts. Sales skills were developed in customer-facing staff and a clearly defined account management process implemented, putting the management team in control of sales outcomes and enabling improved business performance.” Tom Abram, MD Mantix
Privately-owned Mantix Group Ltd (subsequently acquired by WS Atkins) worked with clients making major investments in technology and business change, helping them to deliver value through effective programme and project management.
The Mantix management team had recognised the need for:
- More accurate prediction of sales volume and timing.
- Additional focus to meet desired growth levels.
- Increased clarity of Mantix’s market proposition, which was hard to visualise and understand.
Mantix engaged Performative to assist with the challenge.
The Performative Solution
Initially, Performative’s Sales Maturity Assessment (SMA) revealed key improvement areas were:
- To create a more systematic approach to market focus.
- To introduce appropriate metrics in the sales process and forecast tools to better manage effort and deliver more predictable sales results.
Performative took a pragmatic, continuous improvement approach to suit the available time and resources of the Mantix team. This involved two key phases:
- A Market Focus Review which led the management team through steps to refine the existing proposition and the associated perception of its value to customers. On this basis; ideal customer profiles were developed.
- A Sales Performance Transformation Programme created a more systematic approach to the market place and the selling activity, including:
- A customer targeting process to identify and qualify potential customers.
- Questioning techniques to identify and develop opportunities with potential customers.
- Quantification criteria to generate a better prediction of win probability.
- Assistance with the implementation of a sales tool to track progress on customer bids.
- Development of Key Account Management criteria and principles.
“This was very successful measured in terms of increased levels of business from existing customers, an increase in the number of new customers and a consistent increase in the overall level of bookings. In the area of weddings we had a phenomenal success with bookings more than doubling between 2002 and 2003 and as we start a new year, I am confident this trend will continue.”
“I have no hesitation in recommending Performative to any other organisation seeking a solution to business and/or sales performance issues.” MD, Wadenhoe House
Wadenhoe House is a magnificent Jacobean manor house in the rolling Northamptonshire countryside. It is recognised as offering the highest levels of residential and non-residential conference, training and special occasion facilities to meet the needs of the most demanding clients. The Wadenhoe House management team approached Performative to help bring about long-term improvement in the performance of the business.
The Performative Solution
Performative worked with the Wadenhoe House team over a two year period to achieve improvement in a number of areas, the key ones being:
- Using the Market Focus Review process, implementation of a dramatically reduced prospect database to enable much more focused selling effort to get the best return.
- Creation of a selling model specifically tailored to the Wadenhoe House business. This gave the sales team tools and processes to support all aspects of their selling activities.
- Introduction of tools for the Managing Director to easily manage the process and, in particular, the sales pipeline.
- Creation of a proper selling team based partly on existing staff and partly on a new recruit. In particular, Performative helped identify the talent in one existing team member, who then became the team leader.
- Introduction of the concept of meeting prospects as well as talking to them on the telephone. This was unusual in the venue business and was acknowledged to be one of the reasons behind subsequent improved performance especially in the weddings area of the business.
- Development of a customised training and development programme covering; general selling principles, use of the telephone, handling objections, negotiating and closing. This brought all the other work together and contributed to a significant improvement in confidence and morale across the whole team.
- Provision of a telephone support service to coach through individual sales negotiations and any general sales or business issues.
Over the one year period of the assignment, the customer achieved:
- Revenue growth of 40% from $158m to $222m
- Reduction in cost of sale from 9% to 7% equivalent to $8m
- Reduction in the cost of marketing by $7m.
IMRglobal, a well-established IT solutions provider with a sales force operating in the USA, wanted to grow and expand its reach across the globe:
- The company had just gone public and needed to conform to the rigorous NASDAQ quarterly reporting requirements.
- The company embarked on a rapid programme of acquisitions (11 completed in 37 months) in eight countries across four continents.
- Each acquired business brought its own approach to sales and marketing. However, a consistent approach was needed across all business units enabling accurate and consistent reporting.
- Previous consultancy advice, from a reputable company, had led to a global sales training programme, which had not been successful; there was no reinforcement after completion of the courses, there was no corporate sales methodology, and there was no consistent approach to sales management.
The Performative Solution
Performative analysed the situation and convinced the senior management that for any solution to have wide, deep and lasting effect, there needed to be a programme of change across the organisation – not just in the people, but also the underlying infrastructure, methods and processes. A one year programme was authorised, with the key goal of developing a sales approach that could be easily and consistently implemented in each region. In our roles as interim global sales and marketing VP the following was achieved during the programme:
- Developed a new go-to-market model with a supporting sales methodology.
- Overhauled and restructured the US marketing operation which also functioned as the global marketing function.
- Profiled, re-structured and rebuilt the sales teams and their compensation schemes.
- Developed and rolled-out sales skills and process education programmes globally.
- Developed and implemented a new, more structured, sales management approach.
- Recruited sales directors and sales managers for the US operation and supported other regions in similar recruitment activities.
- Continued mentoring and support for a further 18 month period.