Market Gravity is an innovation consultancy that helps the world's leading brands design new propositions and services.
At the company's core is the unshakeable belief that big businesses have the power to change the world. This optimism is apparent in the young and energetic team at Market Gravity's vibrant London headquarters to which an office in New York has been recently added.
The annual Market Gravity Awards event has become an increasingly high-profile celebration of corporate innovation. Clients include Visa, Barclays and British Gas.
In its start-up phase, acquisition of new clients was a key part of growing the business for the three co-founders.
As the company has grown and as a whole swathe of professionals have been recruited to deliver projects, the task of sustaining the company's growth rate remained on the shoulders of the co-founders.
The next layer of professionals, comprising six principals, were having mixed success in their own sales efforts. For most, it was outside their comfort zone and there was a clear difficulty in prospecting outside immediate networks. While sales was part of the job, it often became timed out by project delivery.
For the company to deliver on its ambitious growth targets, there was a clear need to put more emphasis on the sales performance of principals.
The barriers were less about sales skills in the traditional sense and more about mindset. Focus was clearly an issue as time was not being consistently set aside for sales activity; furthermore, while the principals had extremely high levels of expertise in their given sectors, they often lacked confidence in the sales process.
A particular concern for MD Pete Sayburn was prospecting. "This is something the team find difficult," he acknowledged, "and I simply don't see enough activity in this area."
Sales-mind designed a bespoke team development programme for the co-founders and principals that, over a period of three months, immersed the team in a series of sales training workshops, one-to-one coaching sessions and ran all of them through the 180 degree psychometric tool on the selling mindset.
Areas of mindset covered by the programme included focus - learning to carve out quality time for selling - and resilience - becoming better equipped to deal with adversity in the sales process.
In parallel, Market Gravity formalised its sales infrastructure with support and guidance from sales-mind; this included structuring formal sales meetings for accountability, introducing a CRM system and producing a "sales playbook" that captured best practice in selling the company's propositions.
"The language has changed in the office," says Pete. "Using the tools and techniques provided by the training programme, there is now a very coherent sense of the way we sell around here. We do it as a team and we get on with it. People now have a clear focus on the sales part of their role; it is no longer viewed as some sort of "black art" but is treated instead simply as a process. While rejection and adversity are, of course, still encountered, team members are able to take their ego out of it and bounce back with confidence."
"The result is clearly measurable in increased prospecting and a markedly heightened 60% uplift in the sales value in the company's pipeline compared with the period prior to the programme."
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