A transformed sales operation now selling solutions rather than just products and capable of competing and winning against all types of competitor.
“During the 15 month period of the Performative project we were going through significant change across the business. The extensive business knowledge of the senior Performative staff enabled them to make a major contribution to our change programme going well beyond the scope of the sales [performance transformation] project. The work done by Performative created a great foundation enabling us to maintain consistent double digit growth over the past 3 years. I have no hesitation in recommending Performative to any company needing help with business or sales performance issues.” MD, Sysmex
Sysmex, part of a major global corporation and a market leader in sophisticated blood analysis systems for laboratories, was facing increased levels of competition not just from other equipment manufacturers but, most significantly, from larger, established players with new strategies to provide fully managed solutions. To the NHS such solutions were particularly attractive as a means of dealing with budget constraints by removing the need for capital outlay. The MD was concerned that the sales personnel at all levels, the go-to-market methodology and sales processes were not ideally suited in the face of the new challenges.
The Performative Solution
Performative undertook a complete assessment of Sysmex’s sales position using the Performative Sales Maturity Assessment (SMA) and found:
- Sales people were qualified bio-medical scientists first and sales people second; they were most comfortable with products’ features, which influenced how they sold and to whom.
- Sales were typically made in the laboratory “scientist to scientist”, but NHS decision making was now a mix of procurement, finance, general management and steering committees which included members external to the NHS or the individual Primary Care Trust or hospital.
The SMA was followed by a Sales Performance Transformation Programme to change the selling operation to suit the new environment. Key deliverables were:
- New value-based solution proposition suitable for direct sales.
- New marketing collateral and web site in conjunction with an external agency.
- Complete structured selling methodology (Performative Structured Selling ®).
- Territory, account and deal planning processes including qualification and quantification.
- Sales pipeline and forecasting process including probability calculation on individual deals.
- Induction and sales training for all sales staff.
- Coaching and mentoring the Sales Manager.
- Support for the roll-out of a new CRM system.
- Support for the recruitment of new sales staff and a contracts/bid manager.
- Interim Sales Director role and recruitment of a permanent replacement.
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.
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.
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 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.