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Sales ‘proof of concept’ for software start-up...

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Client:
PH-Media—cloud-based professional services client management software.

Challenge:
To improve a small start-up sales operation (1 Director and a team of 6 whilst proving quantifiable return on their investment in Quantum.

Approach:
Opportunity-driven ‘real-world’ sales support to establish an effective sales process and develop the behaviours of initial sales team.

Results:

  • Higher conversion ratios – from c28% (average) increasing to 41% by end of the next quarter
  • Average sales cycle reduced significantly from 3-4 months to 1-3 months
  • Additional services and products sold with initial deal leading to an average increase of 25% in the total value of the initial order
  • Increased engagement of senior decision-makers
  • As a result of improved sales performance, are now ready to move into three new market sectors quicker than planned.

 


 

Success story

Quantum was introduced to PH-Media’s Sales Director, Andrew Heath by the Sales Director of a subsidiary of a global electronics giant where Quantum provided intensive coaching in:

  • The skills required to identify quantified customer needs for newly-shaped propositions
  • Re-shaping appointment-seeking e-mails and follow-up letters
  • Personalised 1:1 advice on various problematic, complex sales scenarios
  • Strengthening sales management ‘apparatus’ including sales forecasting, qualification, and activity planning.

Early investigations with Andrew highlighted the need to focus on the higher level business appeal of PH-Media’s value proposition, as well as the level of contacts targeted and how they were targeted. Quantum also recommended upward changes to the pricing policy. A need for improvements in appointment-making activity was quickly identified, together with a requirement to sharpen the quality of front-line selling. In particular this included: the assessment of the prospect’s decision-making process; the need for broader and deeper customer knowledge, and the importance of establishing and gaining agreement to a ‘compelling need’ with the customer.

We agreed a ‘drip-drip’ method of support which has been delivered via e-mail and over the telephone with a few selective 1:1 coaching sessions and a handful of joint sales visits where needed. This enabled Andrew to make full use of Quantum’s inputs with minimal impact on his very full working day. Andrew was able to absorb our coaching input in his own ‘real-time’ and revert with questions and updates on prospects being pursued.

Our key inputs have included:

      • Feedback following attendance at key client meetings. Specifics have included commentary on:
        • Preparation in advance of the meeting
        • PH-Media’s early business positioning
        • Questioning techniques
        • Presentation of PH-Media’s solution
        • Gaining real commitment
        • Post-visit follow-up
    • Feedback and coaching after observation of telephone appointment-making. Specifics have included advice on:
      • Qualification of suspects and preparation in advance of first time contact
      • Coaching on getting to the real decision-maker/s much earlier in the sales cycle
    • Construction, development and implementation of PH-Media’s core sales propositions using Quantum’s value-added selling methodologies. In particular this has enabled PH-media to really understand and communicate the shape and appeal of the propositions they are seeking needs and wants for
    • Advice on pricing policy
    • Deal-specific coaching in negotiating. In one instance we were able, not only to prevent the loss of a valuable deal, but also to significantly improve the business terms – the net sum of which paid for a large portion of Quantum’s fees
    • Tighter qualification and prioritisation of ‘sales pipeline’ using Quantum’s forecasting tools
    • The templating of a revised sales recruitment process
    • ‘Editorial’ input into live client communications, proposals and e-mail positioning statements.

Andrew Heath, Sales Director of PH-Media concludes: “We were initially a bit sceptical about the value of working with an outside organisation. We deliberated for some time before engagement. Although we were right to be cautious, within 16 hours, over 2 short months, it was obvious where the value was. Our conversion ratios increased by 7.5% in 8 weeks, we experienced much shorter lead times, higher average order values and personally felt far more in control of each sales situation. Our clients seemed to enjoy the experience too! Since then things have gone from good to great with conversion ratios increased by 140% overall. We are now agreeing a similar support framework for our new sales people who will be joining us shortly. This kind of ‘real-time’ support has become an essential part of my job. Quantum keeps me focussed on what is really important and the opportunities I might otherwise miss due to other pressures.”

Quantum’s input led directly to a successful trade sale to a large international software vendor at a favourable price.

Skills

Posted on

September 4, 2015

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