Scottish Enterprise has a remit to develop Scottish businesses in a variety of ways. Its focus has been to keep employment and GDP rates steady and growing, to increase the proportion of businesses that trade internationally by encouraging new and innovative products or organisations and, finally, by championing entrepreneurialism.
In 2016, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International jointly appointed Genoa Black to design and deliver a programme of events which would be promoted to ambitious business leaders, specifically in B2B Complex sectors such as Engineering, Life Sciences and Energy. The overarching objective was to help these companies identify ways to accelerate international sales.
Our strategy team was briefed to design a bespoke Programme that would highlight a clear strategic path for each delegate to follow. Then, deliver it to business leaders looking to expand their networks and increase their sales internationally.
Thus, the International Growth Selling Programme was born; a 4-week programme, 2 workshops per week, an ‘Ask the Expert’ Q&A session at the end of the programme and 1-2-1 mentoring support throughout. A flexible toolkit was the result, allowing delegates to adapt their sales approach to suit their own company or product, culminating in a new skillset, along with a bespoke action plan.
In the last 5 years, we have successfully managed six International Growth Sales Programmes, the most recent delivered to the Energy sector. Our team deliver the content, arrange guest speakers and deliver bespoke, tailored advice to each delegate. A key factor in its success has been our ability to proactively adapt the programme year-on-year to reflect learnings from previous cohorts. And just think of the economy pre and post Brexit. Furthermore, we recognised early in the process that peer facilitation in the sessions led to cross-fertilisation of ideas and shared learning opportunities; really valuable for developing and realising growth opportunities.
Initially designed to help Scottish businesses already operating globally to accelerate international sales growth, the Programme has been expanded to include aspirational business leaders from companies in other B2B complex sectors who are serious about selling internationally. According to Scottish Enterprise, participating companies involved in 2020 were forecast to generate £26m in additional international sales and create 40 jobs.