Sales performance improvement workshop – The sales accelerator masterclass



The Sales Accelerator programme is a fresh approach to improving business development productivity. It focuses on creating – and helping people to then use – a series of business productivity metrics. Typically, these are based around:
  • Activity – measured by the most important leading indicator and dependants (eg, proposals or quotations presented to customers; active customer/client meetings) 
  • Average order value
  • Conversion ratio (at key stages in the business cycle)
The basic principle is that a small improvement in each area can lead to a significant increase in sales results and productivity. This can be used to powerful effect, as the following simple example shows:
Measured by: Current performance (A) Target performance (B)
Activity ratio: No. proposals sent 10 12
Average order value: £ contract value £1,500 £1,650
Conversion ratio: Proposals: orders 5:1 4:1

Total sales in period for A: 10/5 x £1,500 = £3,000

Total sales in period for B: 12/4 x £1,650 = £4,950

Thus, a relatively small increase in each of the three elements can lead to a much greater increase in business performance – and this programme will help you achieve it.

Training objectives

As a result of this programme, participants will be able to:
  • Improve productivity and effectiveness
  • Stop selling and start helping people buy
  • Uncover opportunities and client needs
  • Reduce the amount of luck and uncertainty in the sales process
  • Qualify pipeline opportunities with more accuracy, using a proven check-list
  • Use smart ways to position price, emphasise value and be a strong player without being the cheapest
  • Close deals with more precision and speed

The skills developed over the course of the programme will add value to all the participants’ client meetings and client relationships.


All sales professionals, at any level, including account managers and directors and business development consultants.

Experienced sales people will find this programme particularly useful.


The programme is delivered as a workshop, typically in two main sessions:
  • a two-day course covering Activity and Value
followed about four weeks later by:
  • a one-day Conversion and review session.

(Alternatively, the modules can be delivered as three separate one-day sessions, each held a fortnight apart).

The training is informal and interactive, with regular small group and individual activities. The content and style of the presentation are, at the same time, relaxed and challenging. The trainer’s focus is on creating an excellent, memorable and positive event, not just delivering a training course. Thus the ideas, skills and realisations they gain will stay with participants long after the course has finished, and participants will find themselves achieving new levels of confidence and, most importantly, results.

Special features

Underpinning the improvement in targeting key business development skills are a number of important, but simple to use, ‘tools’. These are usually customised for each client. They are introduced to participants through a series of practical exercises in the training workshops.

The programme also integrates many relevant ideas, attitudes and techniques from Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).

For maximum impact, it is recommended that the trainer spend some time with you analysing your current sales productivity, so that the programme can be tailored to focus on those areas that could deliver the greatest benefits, eg:
  • Inclusion of relevant examples
  • Toolkit changed to fit your target products and customer types
  • Integration of product information into ‘best practice’ examples and exercises.

The expert trainer

Graham specialises in providing high-quality consultancy, coaching and training in sales, sales management, customer service and personal productivity. He has a long career in sales and was a top-performing IT and solutions sales professional and sales manager. His most recent full-time role was as Managing Director of Sales Productivity and Development for Thomson Financial, helping develop a large European sales force.

His work has taken him all over the world and involved him in working closely with hundreds of different organisations from all business sectors, his client list including such organisations as BT, Vodafone, AT&T, Orange, Pfizer, GSK, Boots, Unilever, American Express, Thomas Cook, Apple, Sony, Motorola, Cisco, MFI, Barclays Bank, LIFFE, Abbey National, Prison Service, Home Office, Law Society, BBC, Daimler-Chrysler, Citroen, Weetabix, Nikon, Shell and many, many others. In addition he has written over twenty books published in several different countries, including Companies don’t succeed – people do!, 90 Brain Teasers for Trainers, Customer Service Games for Training, Sales Training Games, Telephone Tacticsand Working Smarter.

Known internationally as both a trainer and a popular motivational speaker, he believes that effective learning has to be interactive and challenging. All his learning events are built around practical exercises, role play and case studies. His training style focuses not on just explaining new ideas or developing new skills, but also on motivating people to use them and to develop themselves as individuals. This approach gets results, as the following comments from course participants show:

‘Brilliant course, really interesting and very focused to my job role and day to day work.’

‘Took away some very good ideas that I can use every day… good examples too.’

‘Very confident in the subject, and amusing too. Made the course very interesting. A very clear sales model to use going forward.’

‘Full of useful hints and tips which I will apply to my job.’

‘Extremely well presented and structured’

‘A very intensive course and a lot of concrete tools provided.’

‘Useful data, tools and insights; engaging and interesting as always.’

‘Very good… contained everything we do on a regular basis and problems we have come across… the exercises made it very interesting too.’

Programme outline


Activity: Business development planning and relationship management

Key objective
This first module introduces the Sales Accelerator model, including key metrics, NLP principles and relationship management tools. One key goal from this session is to show participants how to increase their pro-active activity levels by around 10%. It covers all aspects of creating new business opportunities, from existing customers and non-customers alike, and is linked to personal activity improvement goals.

Main elements
  • Key principles of professional, consultative and value added selling
  • Prospecting skills – and ways to improve the productivity, accuracy and effectiveness of your new business generation activities by using proven models and techniques
  • Four magic principles of the business accelerator model – and how to live them
  • Sold in 60 minutes! – making the first meeting count
  • Networking and building influence
  • Sales and customer relationship strategies – gaining new business from existing customers
Key learning points
  • Sales productivity – understand the dynamics of increasing the combination of activity levels, deal value and conversion rate of proposals/quotations to orders and learn how to implement an improvement plan
  • How to stop selling and start helping people buy – by ‘earning the right’ and only ‘selling’ to the next stage; defining the stages of your customer’s buying process
  • How to make timing work for you
  • Sold in sixty minutes! – how to structure and conduct a first meeting to create impact, credibility and opportunity
  • Develop a Relationship Matrix, contact strategy and coach for key client organisations – and also within your own organisation

Value: Increasing your ‘value’ to the customer and increasing sales effectiveness

Key objective
To be able to better anticipate, identify, create, and develop business opportunities using a customer/client-focused communication-based business model and consultative skills. At the core of effective influence skills are rapport, people and drawing-out skills. It is not just about asking the right questions, but asking them in the right way, and at the right time. It is at this stage that concerns and delays later in the process can be avoided.

Main elements
  • Develop sales more effectively from new and existing customers
  • Manage relationships with customers
  • Use structured and assertive drawing-out skills to identify, develop and formalise business opportunities and gain commitment
  • Positioning your company, products and services against your main competitors
  • Create and deliver persuasive sales messages based on specific need areas, criteria and value
Key learning points
  • Advanced consultative selling – use a variety of structured and advanced questioning techniques to confidently and efficiently uncover opportunities, need areas and business criteria
  • Involve the customer/client at all times, and to a far greater degree, and keep better control of business development process
  • Value message – differentiate your solutions clearly and accurately with customer/client-matched value statements
  • Presenting the right USPs, features and benefits and making them relevant and real to the customer
  • Qualification and reading buying signals
DAY THREE (held around four weeks after first module)

Conversion: Closing and negotiation skills

Key objective
This module looks at how to improve the final qualification, progression and conversion of opportunities in your sales pipeline. Also includes price negotiation, overcoming objections and obstacles to gaining agreement.

Main elements
  • Structuring and preparing for negotiating a deal and knowing when and how to move into the ‘end-game’ mode
  • Anticipate and answer customer objections and questions more confidently
  • Build more credibility and proof into your business process to reduce ‘buyer’s remorse’ and speed-up decision making
  • Being more assertive and developing greater instincts and strategic thinking in progressing quotations and proposals
Key learning points
  • Smart ways to position price, emphasise value and be a strong player without being the cheapest
  • Becoming more assertive in closing deals, and the importance of organised follow-up on the telephone
  • Qualify pipeline opportunities with more accuracy, using a proven check-list
  • Use an ‘option generator’ to simplify complex proposals, increase business value and close business faster
  • Writing more effective sales proposal documents and quotations
  • How best to draw-out, understand, isolate and answer customer objections, negotiate points and concerns
  • Practical methods of asking for agreement and closing a sale

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