03 December 2018
Maria Hellyer / Head of European Business Development, NZTE / Europe
At NZTE, we get the pleasure of seeing New Zealand companies innovate as they invest significant time and resources into enhancing the quality of the goods and services they export. Some of the most innovative people on earth call New Zealand home, and we are proud of the quality of what we produce.
However, despite the enormous effort that the companies we work with put into ‘what they sell’, like so many producers, across the world, very minimal emphasis gets placed on ‘how they sell it’. As such, ‘the sale’ is frequently overlooked.
Yet, sales are the very thing that sustains revenue, generates growth and creates profit. Often the role of sales is put into the hands of those who may not possess any sales experience at all. Many have even less experience selling into international markets and fewer still, have any inkling of what’s in store for them in Europe.
This type of strategy results in missed opportunities and mirrors current research which indicates that only 22% of companies are satisfied with their sales conversion rates.
We saw an opportunity to address this problem and deliver value to our customers by commissioning a semi-bespoke two-day pitching programme – ‘Getting to Yes’ - in Europe’. We appointed IGD, the global food and grocery experts to deliver a workshop.
On day one, participants from nine of our companies, both large and small, learned the critical components of pitching. Day two provided an opportunity for our customers to create their pitch, receive feedback and coaching from our trainers in a safe and controlled environment and the chance to try out their pitch on real buyers.
Surprising for us, was that most participants were young, relatively new employees. They all appreciated a short, hands-on, entry-level course that they could build on for the future.
Interestingly, 44% of companies list ‘optimising sales’ as a top priority objective yet most participants said they had never received any formal training in sales!
Something to focus on for the future perhaps?