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.
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.
“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.