Verve Consulting

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Get Fit for Sales

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Get Fit for Sales

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Verve offers a new service aimed at increasing sales revenue by 10 to 20% in today’s challenging market. “Get Fit for Sales” provides a range of tools and best practice to give your sales a kick start.

In response to market demand, Verve Consulting has designed a service offer to help businesses increase sales effectiveness and revenues. In 4 to 6 weeks, we investigate key aspects of the sales process and provide a plan to implement improvements.

Key activities include:

· obtaining independent customer feedback
· providing insights to key competitor activity
· understanding the existing sales process and evaluating its ‘health’
· analysing the sales pipeline
· conducting selected account planning sessions for key accounts
· assessing vulnerabilities
· highlighting areas for ‘quick wins’

At the end of the process Verve provides a ‘snapshot’ of the current sales environment, the issues and the strengths, and provides a detailed improvement plan. Following this plan may help you gain a 10-20% increase in sales revenue and you can begin in as little as 4 weeks.

Implementing a strategy for efficiency and growth

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Marketing Strategy and Implementation for Ready Steady Store

When Ready Steady Store’s growth was not meeting expectation, Mehran Charania, Chief Executive Officer, undertook a full review of the business.

Ready Steady Store opened its first store in 2006 providing secure storage facilities with a high level of customer service that differentiates them in the self-storage industry. With their bold new business model, challenging the traditional approach to self storage, Ready Steady Store has grown rapidly since its inception, adding stores each year. However CEO, Mehran Charania, convinced that growth could be stronger, conducted a thorough review of all aspects of the business and developed a new marketing plan.

With their proven expertise in strategy development and implementation, Verve Consulting was appointed by Ready Steady Store to validate the plans and make recommendations on the marketing strategy.

Verve Consulting initially undertook an analysis of the current business and marketing activities, the competitive landscape and developments in the media. This involved staff internally and researching externally.

From the analysis, Verve Consulting recommended a strategy that challenged the industry’s traditional views on the marketing mix and expenditure required for a successful storage facility. The strategy addressed all aspects from internal resources and collateral to target audiences, the use of new media, and perhaps most critically of all, measuring the return on investment for marketing spend.

Following the approval of the strategy, Verve Consulting has managed the implementation of the plan involving not only internal and external marketing resources and budgets, but also operational and sales personnel, helping Ready Steady Store to gain the added value from the synergies of an holistic approach.

Ready Steady Store is now seeing tangible benefits from the new strategy with more efficient spending on marketing and revenues growing significantly at a time when the industry overall is experiencing severe pressures with many businesses losing revenue.

Mehran Charania, Chief Executive Officer, explains, “ Verve Consulting has impressed us by challenging the industry’s preconceived notions, and with the methodical approach to accountability and justifying returns on marketing investment.”

Finally, on Verve’s overall contribution, Mehran added, “ Verve Consulting has made a valuable contribution to our start-up business by reducing risk and increasing our credibility with investors.”

Selling the intangible

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Marketing strategy for a multi-national services business

You know you should be selling ‘value’, but value can be hard to define, value can be ‘intangible’.  But once you realize that value is expressed in terms of what the customer believes you can do for them, and what that’s worth to their business – then creating propositions and shaping deals becomes much easier – and much more sustainable.  This is hard enough to do for a market you already understand and it gets so much harder to do when you are moving into a new market … like the organization in this story…

This on/off shore, multi-national business services organization had been spun  out from a large airline in 2002. It had well established legacy businesses in a couple of verticals but wanted to expand into others.  However the company had no experience of entering new markets and winning new customers, having always relied on incremental business from existing customers.  The Venture Capital group who had financed the spin out had high expectations and the management team were being put on the spot to deliver.

We worked with the organization to develop its go to market strategy sector by sector with marketing plans and approaches to position the company in each market, clear value propositions built around what the customer needed backed up with focussed account plans for each key customer account.  We designed a smarter and shorter approach to the sales cycle which demonstrated fit and value early and helped them to qualify out so they didn’t pursue bids where they were unlikely to win so they could re-direct the effort to where it counted.

As a result the sales team were absolutely clear on what they were going after in each market, the sales cycle was dramatically shortened, and the win rate increased.

“Their input enabled us to become clearer about where we wanted to focus our sales and marketing effort and how we could communicate the value we bring to customers effectively and efficiently” Chairman

Shaping commercial relationships

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Global sales strategy with a leading Indian software company

Getting into a bad relationship can really hurt.  It’s in everyone’s interest to get the relationship to work, and to work at the right level.  Businesses interact on many levels, no one individual can own the whole relationship – but a team can – and a team acting in concert can build trust and enable partnerships that neither organization could previously have imagined.

This Indian software company realized they had lost focus in their sales approach.  They had become reactive and were falling behind the competition.  The needed to increase business with their key global account, but couldn’t get any traction through the network of dispersed local contacts around the world.  Locally relationships were good but there was no bigger picture.

We worked with the account team to identify and agree a global approach.  We wanted to get the whole global team directly involved.  We set about systematically building the customer relationship map, working out who the key players were, understanding their background and identifying if they were friend or foe.  Then we figured out who was best placed to work with them and what approach to use.  We also uncovered critical information about how the customers perceived the company and what needed to be done to address that.  We developed a value proposition and overall account vision, and derived focussed detailed action plans.

It didn’t happen overnight but the new approach paid dividends in the level of trust and built a perception of quality and commitment with the customer.  The team was focussed and energized as new opportunities began to emerge and revenues increased.

“The approach and input was very helpful.  It enabled us to focus and structure our relationship planning for our most important key account – this saved us a lot of time.  By building a global account planning process and involving people from around the world we got complete buy-in from the whole support team.” UK Account Director

Unlocking the benefits of change

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Major Change Implementation for a leading UK charity

With a plan and team in place to implement a significant new strategy, a leading UK charity needed programme management and implementation support to make their new strategy a reality.

It was vital to build sustained momentum into the implementation to unlock benefits as fast as possible. Yet business as usual had to be protected during the change phase. This led to Verve being asked to lead and drive key parts of the implementation plan, working alongside the internal team. Verve’s role included training change managers; organising the programme work structure; acting as overall programme managers; and providing specific expertise for key workstreams.

Most changes have been put into practice on time. These include updated processes for bidding, leading to significant new business wins, totalling more than £1.5M.  Services have been broadened and new ways of working are being rolled out. Significantly, new skills have been embedded in the organisation, as well as a real sense of achievement and confidence.

Commenting on this work, the Charity’s CEO said “Verve has demonstrated its value in both hard and soft ‘outcomes’. We have won more than £ 1.5M in business –a ‘hard outcome’, but our Verve consultants have also acted as excellent role models and have helped embed these skills back into the organisation.”