Supporting growth companies to develop their sales capabilities – from pitching to selling
Shifting the focus during sales from mainly pitching a product to understanding customer needs.
Business Simulations with Science Park Gotland
Science Park Gotland is a Swedish incubator supporting startups to launch their business ideas successfully. Through two business development programs, SPG Startup and SPG Summit, Science Park Gotland supports growth companies to create a stable business by providing knowledge, financing, office space and a broad contact network.
Validating the offering and then scaling the company is a challenge for many growth companies. They have developed this fantastic offering, but when it is time to start selling, they cannot reach the required volumes – creating a risk of failure.
In December 2019, Ascend supported Science Park Gotland with a two-day sales training workshop for three of its incubator startups. The sales training is based on Ascend’s standard business simulation framework but adapted and tailored to smaller companies with limited existing sales capabilities.
From designing simplified sales tools and methodologies to hands-on coaching throughout the sales training, Ascend supported the companies in developing their sales capabilities, growing their customer understanding and increasing their self-confidence in sales. Throughout the training, each startup got to work on moving a fictive but realistic customer through their decision process – from identifying needs to closing the deal. In a combination of theory, group exercises and simulated customer meetings, the startups developed their sales skills in a safe and simulated but realistic environment with continuous feedback and reflection as a natural element.
The sales simulation was not only a great learning experience for our startups, but also for us as an incubator. Being part of the two-day boot camp gave me a firsthand insight into what areas we should strengthen the commercial capabilities of our startups.
Julius Bengtsson, Director SPG
The sales training lowered the barriers and uncomfortable feelings connected to selling while developing their sales capabilities, improving their self-confidence and understanding of the customer buying journey. The outcome was a shift in focus from pitching the offering to understanding the customer and creating a need – while making the learnings stick!