For the past 4 weeks, we have been delivering Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International’s, International Growth Selling Programme Pilot. Our Managing Director, Claire Kinloch, offers us some reflections on the successful completion of the first cohort.

Working with a group of open-minded, experienced and ambitious companies has been not only a pleasure but a real learning curve for all of us as a team.

With the objective of challenging approaches and techniques and introducing new ones across a broad range of topics, our mission was to help equip participant companies with a fresh strategic international sales perspective, practical tools and strong peer learning.  Feedback so far has been excellent both in terms of delivering to these objectives and helping us shape the program moving forward ahead of Cohort 2 that kicks off in November.

Starting with the basic “do you know your customer” question, we discussed the nuances of this topic from regional, corporate, customer and individual level touching upon risk management and the ever-increasing number of stakeholders involved in the B2B buying process. This, in turn, aimed to help delegates start to shape relevant and compelling international customer value propositions, considering specific in-region challenges and pain points, how to creatively access customer intelligence and how to map decision journeys from gatekeepers to influencers to decision makers.

Workshop 2 considered then the options open to companies from a sales strategy perspective – finding partners of the right fit, building success criteria and selection parameters and then moving forward to consider the sales process itself and the implications of resource, building KPIs, designing opportunity funnels and bid writing. This was further enhanced in Workshop 3 with specialist speakers on tendering.

Wrapped up towards the end of the programme with perspectives on international culture and sales techniques, our international journey over the past 4 weeks has managed to deliver both breadth and depth in this complex area.

Now participating companies have much work to do in pulling this work together, shaping their final plans and seeking support both internally and externally to make them happen. Key to this will be their continued dialogue amongst themselves to further the significant and highly enlightening peer learnings they have been confident to openly share throughout the programme.

We look forward to hearing of their future success and indeed round two where we will no doubt meet a new group of hungry and enthusiastic participants and we are relishing the opportunity of continued international discovery and learning.