In 2003, after a career in government procurement, Growth in Focus Managing Director, Sue Findlay started a tender consulting business helping companies win tenders and grants.
Sue built an enviable track record of success, winning tenders and grants for hundreds of companies across Australia but a constant source of frustration was companies coming to her (late) for urgent tender assistance without basic information about their customer's critical issues and decision making process.
Sue's business partner, Growth in Focus Director David Black, with his background in IT operations and business development, identified the issue as inadequate sales training for their customer's sales teams and poor management of those sales people. Between them, David and Sue had compelling evidence for an endemically low level of sales professionalism across a broad range of industries. But how to make a difference? It seemed like an intractable problem.
When David and Sue met Growth in Focus Director Mike Adams in early 2015, they heard a different perspective on sales professionalism. Mike had spent his career as a salesman and sales manager working all over the world for blue-chip multi-national technology companies across several industries and Mike understood the 'poor salesmanship" problem from the perspective of leading, mentoring and training to get the best from diverse sales teams.
Between them, Sue, David and Mike identified two critical issues. The first is that that a majority of sales people are unconsciously unskilled. That is, they significantly overate their sales skills. The fact that these unskilled sales people do occasionally succeed (because buyers need to buy) just makes them overconfident unskilled sales people. The second critical issue is most company's failure to provide either adequate sales skill development or a suitable working environment for sales people to thrive in.
As they discussed these two issues a simple idea was born. Why not combine Sue's knowledge of buying, David's expertise in operations and IT with Mike's sales management and sales training experience to tackle the issue of poor salesmanship and poor performing sales teams head on?
And so, Growth in Focus was born.
Since its inception, Growth in Focus has helped a wide range of clients in industries ranging from IT, Telecommunications, Building Services, Oil and Gas, Mining and Professional Services. Offering a full suite of sales and procurement services. We avoid 'quick fix" point solutions like CRM systems or 'one size fits all" training courses but focus on sustained long-term improvement by carefully diagnosing each company's sales and business situation.
We've developed tools to assess the true skill level of sales people and apply appropriate development interventions and we've created programs to build effective sales collateral and sales management methodologies in support of our ongoing mission to improve sales professionalism and make buying routinely easy for our clients' customers.
: Growth in Focus (Renamed The Story Leader in 2018)
: Mike Adams, Sue Findlay and David Black
For Story Students
: Perth 2014
: Sue's frustration with sales people and a belief that there must be a better way
The Turning Point
: The chance meeting of Sue, Mike and David and the seed of a business idea
: Growth in Focus and its unique service offerings - assessment based recruiting with ongoing coaching for sales recruits, unique training and selling with story sales development programs and sales management coaching
The Point of the Story
: Growth in Focus and its service offerings - assessment based recruiting with ongoing coaching for sales recruits, unique training and selling with story sales development programs and sales management coaching
How to use this story
: We tell this story to prospective customers, usually business owners who have sales teams