Our sales philosophy, developed through many decades of research, experience and personal knowledge, is founded upon a belief that the driving force behind a sale is the process of buying. 

Whilst many speak of the sales process, we prefer to focus upon the buying process; this is where the key decisions are made; the goal of the seller is  to influence to the best of their ability the outcome of the buying process. But the final decision is a buying decision, and the pace, progress and outcome of the process are determined by the buyer.

In improving sales performance we therefore put a great deal of emphasis upon the customer; their business needs, the dynamics of their marketplace, and the demands – now and in the future – of their customers. And then work out how to make a value-contribution to their business.

Academy has been at the forefront of new thinking in sales best practice for over fifteen years. We can bring you a combination of all the classic skills that have not changed for decades, along with the contemporary competences demanded by today’s business environment. And you can be assured that, whatever demands are placed upon your sales organisation in the future, we will have the tools and knowledge available to meet them.

Sales Masterclass

– a workout for your top peoplemore

Only rarely does a training course provide sales teams with an opportunity to test their skills in every aspect of the sales process. Sales Masterclass has been designed to meet just such a requirement - to simulate a major sales campaign from start to finish in a real-life environment, where the buyers are played by real characters, each with their own buying motives and hidden agendas. 

Sales Masterclass is Academy’s longest-selling and most successful workshop. We look upon Masterclass as a regular workout for your top sellers – an opportunity to test their skills in a demanding environment, in which they will need to deploy all their resources to succeed.

Managing Major Bids

– maximising your bid-winning successmore

The aim of "Managing Major Bids" is to improve not just the quality of a sales proposal but the effectiveness of the whole sales campaign. The proposal cannot be separated from the sales process that surrounds it, and the course emphasises the importance of the account manager understanding the business needs of the customer, and continuing to sell the solution before, during, and after the proposal is submitted.

This course produces lasting processes and is ideal in supporting a BS5750 qualification for proposal design and management. Although based around a formal procurement, it is equally valid in situations where the bid is unsolicited.

“Managing Major Bids” is aimed at Bid Managers, Sales Managers, Sales and Support Staff, Marketing, Contract Administration

Negotiating Skills

- ensuring your company’s best interests – and most of your customer’s – are metmore

In any negotiation, each side ultimately must choose between two options: accepting a deal; or taking its best ‘no-deal’ option - that is the course of action it would take if the deal were not possible. As a negotiator, you seek to advance the full set of your interests by persuading the other party to say yes - and mean it - to a proposal that meets your interests better than your no-deal option does.

And why should the other side say yes? Because the deal meets its own interests better than its no-deal option.

This approach may seem on the surface like a recipe for manipulation. But in fact, understanding your counterpart’s interests and shaping the decision so the other side agrees for its own reasons is the key to jointly creating and claiming sustainable value from a negotiation.

The aims of this programme are for all customer-facing staff to:

  • understand the role of negotiation in the sales process
  • understand the basic principles of negotiation
  • learn the tactical skills of negotiating 
  • look forward to a negotiation as a means of improving trading conditions and customer relationships

Selling the Business Case

– making it easier for customers to buymore

In every sales transaction, the goal of the seller must be to make it easy for the customer to buy. Where you have no obvious product, service or price advantages, the customer’s decision will be most strongly influenced by their confidence in your understanding of their business needs, and willingness to co-operate in implementing a solution.

“Developing the Business Case” helps sellers understand and clearly articulate a compelling business case. Supported by knowledge of the customer’s industry, market drivers, and terminology, this course helps the seller propose the right solution to achieve an optimum cost/benefit outcome, and increase the speed to decision with a strong win-result for all buying influences.

This course is aimed at sellers, account managers and support staff requiring the confidence, knowledge and skill to develop a business case. 

Strategic Selling

– understanding and influencing the buying processmore

Strategic Selling is probably the most widely used sales campaign planning process in the world. Its versatility, comprehensiveness and speed have kept it alive and productive in the most demanding area of the fastest-moving industries today, creating for the familiar "bluesheet" process a huge reputation for effective campaign management.

Strategic Selling is Miller Heiman's most popular product. It gives your sellers a step-by-step approach to winning business; the process highlights exactly how the buying decision will be made, reveals your strengths and weaknesses, qualifies the opportunity, uncovers your strongest value propositions, and provides a prioritised action plan for your most important single sales objectives. 

Conceptual Selling

– understanding the buying criteriamore

Conceptual Selling helps sellers understand the buying criteria of your major prospects. They will learn how to position your solution to solve business problems, and to differentiate based upon your strengths.

Conceptual Selling places the emphasis squarely where it belongs: upon the customer. The principles in conceptual selling are a constant reminder that ultimately the supplier wins only if the customer wins.

Conceptual Selling is a non-manipulative process that makes the sale almost automatic, and furthers the long term buyer-seller relationship.

Selling Business Solutions

– aligning your customer with your own business strategymore

Selling Business Solutions (SBS) builds confidence in solution selling by examining the complete cycle of a solution sale from identification of opportunities to winning the business.

In many companies, a major team effort is devoted to creating a robust account plan for its key customers, but then leaves the execution of the plan solely in the hands of the sellers. SBS extends the planning right into the customer arena; it focuses on developing the business case behind the solution, practises articulating concise buying propositions, and helps put into practice sales process for a complex sale. 

SBS is suitable for members of sales teams needing solution selling skills.

Inquisitive Selling

– how to best understand your customer’s needsmore

Understanding your customers and their business needs requires a genuine interest in their goals, their business challenges, and their priorities. Getting hold of this information requires sound interviewing skills, and a passion for discovery. This is an essential course for anyone who acts in a service role – both internally and externally.