Driving a 25% increase in turnover in 18 months

Background

An award-winning UK based Management Consultancy firm serving multiple industries including Aerospace & Defence, Transport and Manufacturing to streamline operations, transform costs and embed sustainability.

The Challenge

Despite having a talented team of sales professionals and a supportive Private Equity (PE) backer, this business was not growing at the required rate.
The leadership team recognised that things were not working but needed to identify the specific underlying challenges and issues. The chairman invited Sales Engine to review the sales function and offer an initial set of recommendations. Our breadth of experience allowed us not only quickly to identify the issues but also put forward a series of ‘quick win’ changes that would have an early impact on sales growth.

360 programme across
People, Processes & Tools

The Solution

Our first stage focused on understanding the state of the client’s People, Processes, and Tools using our Sales Audit tool.

During our initial review of the People aspect, we found that the business had great people, but poor processes let them down. Despite having talented sales professionals, their approach’s lack of discipline and consistency created ‘tribes’, with each individual following their own processes and, in many cases, ‘gut feel’ responses to new opportunities.

Our subsequent review of sales Processes highlighted that the fundamentals, from pipeline management to account management to win plans, still needed to be implemented. This not only exacerbated the sense of organised chaos; it also meant that the sales team were not learning from previous mistakes and required more discipline to achieve sustainable sales growth. The lack of sales processes would also put off potential buyers looking for these as part of a trade sale and/or investment round.

Finally, our review of their Tools highlighted that fundamental tools like credible sales presentations and proposal documents needed to be of much better quality. The lack of processes around creating bespoke responses to client requirements compounded the problem. In addition, the use of the CRM tool was flawed, leading to disjointed responses to new opportunities and patchy ‘bid-no bid’ decision-making.

In summary, the business and its people were strong; however, the fragility of the sales function was starting to impact its growth directly and, ultimately, the return on investment the PE firm and leadership team had worked so hard to achieve.

To address these issues, our initial focus was on the leadership team. We provided a holistic view of the challenges and ensured buy-in at a leadership level before diving into specific ‘fixes.’ It was crucial that the leadership team had a deep understanding of the challenges and was seen to support the changes needed across the business.

Everyone in the business understood the importance of the exercise.

First steps
Working with the leadership team, we created a new Sales Target Operating Model (or ‘STOM’) to set the new benchmark for sales within the business. We then designed a comprehensive training plan to support the STOM, which was approved at the board level before rolling it out to the broader team.

We then commenced with the training delivery while simultaneously offering deal support for salespeople on an individual level. This level of deal support not only proved to be a valuable coaching opportunity that embedded the STOM model and new best practices but also allowed us to demonstrate the impact of the new approach on a deal-by-deal basis. The win rates increase by X% within the first three months.

Maintaining momentum
We communicated these successes across the sales team through monthly updates to provide a heartbeat of value-added content.

Additionally, we created video ‘anatomy of a deal’ interviews explaining how the new processes and tools supported the uptick in profitable sales. Each of these videos was saved into a sales learning repository to embed best practices further and act as a reference point for future deals.

Finally, we made additional process improvements in strategically important areas like CRM, where we redefined the sales process into six separate stages. These improvements helped create a more streamlined sales process essential for the business’s continued growth.

The Result

Sales Engine was able to identify and address the issues that were impacting the consultancy business’s sales growth. Through a holistic approach involving the leadership team, comprehensive training, deal support, and ongoing communication, we could embed best practices, streamline processes, and ultimately achieve sustainable sales growth for the business.

Our work, and no shortage of brilliant effort on their part, helped grow turnover by more than 27% in 18 months, resulting in a highly successful trade sale of the business on schedule.

Outstanding results
Short space of time
Successful trade sale