Launch of the Winning Sales Academy

Friday saw the launch of our Winning Sales Academy – Courtesy of Insider News here is the press release covering details of the event

More than 115 people attended the event, which was held to coincide with the launch of the Winning Sales Academy by Winning Pitch with support from the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

John Leach, chairman of Winning Pitch, said: “Sales is the heart and soul of any business. It’s the engine. I see loads of companies with great products but they fail to recognise the importance of sales. There’s almost a fear of selling. Selling is not a dirty word. It’s a profession. Any entrepreneur knows that selling is the centre of their business.

“The idea for the sales academy has been in the background for the last five or six years but it only started to crystallise now into a business proposition.

“I’ve spent the last ten years researching what great businesses do in terms of sales and growth. The Winning Sales Academy is the way of coaching and passing on those skills. It’s the companies themselves who have been asking for these academies because they recognise the importance of sales.”

Scott Fletcher is the chairman and founder of Manchester-based cloud computing provider ANS Group, which has just reported a ninth consecutive year of profit growth and is one of a number of companies to sign up to the academy.

He said: “Nothing happens without a sale. You can have the best technology in the world but without a sales strategy it counts for nothing. There is a graveyard of companies with great products that didn’t get out there and sell it.

“Fundamentally there are not enough people with these skills out there,” he said. “I have been banging on for years about the need for a sales academy. That’s why we’re behind it.”

John Smyth is a director of the family-run Swansway Garage, which has a turnover of £350m and employs 625 staff. “We have learnt to recruit for attitude not experience,” he said. “It takes time, money and effort to develop and train a good person but it creates loyalty to the business and is worth the investment.”

Richard Millman was brought in as the chief executive of Total Fitness Health Clubs as part of a turnaround plan and has transformed the company’s sales strategy and seen membership rise.

Millman added: “One of the first things we saw was that sales needed to change, the challenge was to understand how sales needed to change. We recognised the value of existing customers just as much as recruiting new customers and we’ve put more sales/commercial focus onto our existing members. Our processes have changed to embrace technology.”

The other speakers were Paul Bailey, who owns Optimum Coatings in Morecambe, and Clive Memmott, chief executive of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

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