How a Portfolio Company Changed its Sales DNA to Thrive

Cortado Group author

Cortado Group

October 3, 2023 in Sales

This post shares insight on a portco sales success story featured in our new report: “Sales Enablement 2.0 — The Solution for Solving Revenue Growth Challenges.” Download now

In our new report, we provide an overview of our innovative Sales Enablement 2.0 program. It’s designed to change the entire DNA of your sales organization. We illustrate the power of the program in a portfolio company case study. In this blog post, we share the portco’s sales enablement success story. 

Medical Education Company Overhauls its Sales DNA 

This portfolio company creates specialized education programs for medical professionals about the latest developments in clinical care. These education programs cover topics ranging from oncology to infectious diseases. Recognizing growing demand for its services, a private equity firm purchased the company in 2020.

The private equity company’s goal was to expand the brand on the global stage and grow through larger contracts and acquisitions. But the portco was consistently missing its numbers quarter after quarter. 

What the portco needed was a way to uplevel its sales team. The private equity company’s leadership realized that the key to turning around the company’s revenue growth was to overhaul its sales program. A team from Cortado Group created a customized Sales Enablement 2.0 program to advance the company’s sales DNA. 

 Portco Challenge: Sales Process Not Sustainable

By 2022, the portfolio company’s sales division was not meeting its revenue milestones — including its close-win rate, sales cycle speed, and average sales price. 

Among the many challenges it faced were:

  •       Siloed best practices within its six clinical sales teams
  •       Losing several experienced salespeople to retirement
  •       Gaining untrained salespeople through acquisitions
  •       A slowdown of its largest vertical

Traditional sales training solutions wouldn’t work. The company could not simply hire super sellers who are also clinical subject matter experts. Also, its sales process was unique and didn’t fit the mold of any sales training program on the market. 

Instead, the company decided to improve the sales skills of its existing subject matter experts through the creation of a Sales Enablement 2.0 program fully customized to its unique sales process. 

Solution: Turn Subject Matter Experts into Super Sellers

With no sales enablement experts on hand, the decision was made to outsource the initiative. A partner who could create a customized solution that met their unique sales requirements was needed. They interviewed several firms and chose Cortado Group to lead the project.

In particular, the company wanted to overcome the internal hurdles and barriers facing its salespeople. Through sales enablement, the company saw an opportunity to gather the best practices from its six divisions. It wanted to bring the best practices together into one holistic sales process that every subject matter expert would use.

Partner: Cortado Group “Got It”

While many large, name-brand companies offered their sales enablement solutions, Riverside’s Managing Director of Commercial Growth, Chris Davy, wanted to work with a boutique firm. He had worked with Cortado Group in a previous partnership and knew its reputation for excellence.

“Cortado Group was the only firm that got it,” said Davy. “Their team came to us with a comprehensive, customized sales enablement plan that included timelines, milestones, and measures of success. 

“The CEO of our portfolio company said, ‘I don’t want to hire a consultant to just give me a bunch of PowerPoint slides. I want execution.’ 

“Cortado said, ‘We are not going to give you a theory. We’re coming in to make change.’ That was a big selling point for our CEO.

“What’s more, they introduced us to the person who would lead the project, Sarah Bedwell. Neither of the large companies we talked to even knew who the project lead would be. They just had theories, not practice plans.”

Process: Extract Sales Best Practices

The Cortado Group sales enablement team performed these steps to extract the organization’s best sales practices from within the six divisions to create one comprehensive customized sales enablement program:

  1. Documented the buyers’ journey and personas
  2. Designed a sales process strategically aligned to the buyers’ journey
  3. Coded the skills a salesperson needs to execute the sales process
  4. Built the needed skills into a scalable e-learning program
  5. Put the entire sales leadership team through the training program
  6. Ensured these skills persist by coaching the frontline managers with weekly 1:1 observation and feedback
  7. Empowered frontline managers to coach their own teams

Results: Confidence and Collaboration

The early results of the sales enablement program included a full embrace of the lessons by the subject matter experts. The subject matter experts viewed the sales enablement program as a reflection of the company’s investment in their success. 

Plus, the sellers gained a 29% increase in confidence in their ability to perform essential sales skills, including these variables:.

  •       +48% ability to describe buyer personas and the process buyers go through to make a sales decision
  •       +47% ability to develop a compelling grant idea to submit at the assigned quality level
  •       +42% ability to create and run an engagement strategy while supporters are considering a deal
  •       +41% ability to perform all the above in full compliance

According to the VP of Neuroscience, “I can say with a high level of confidence that we have more in our pipeline versus this time last year. I very much believe it is a byproduct of our comprehensive sales coaching.”

The VP of Infectious Disease confirms: “As we closed out the first half of 2023, we found that our team achieved solid year-over-year growth — with two lead salespeople performing above their quota. We credit our new sales process from Cortado Group for our success, including creating a stronger sales strategy and setting detailed yearly objectives, timeline-driven actions for feeding the pipeline, and a new tracking system to follow quarterly quotas at a regular cadence. Thanks again for all the support!”

According to the Chief Strategy Officer: “Through the process, I have learned that any organization looking to scale must address sales enablement. If you don’t, you’ll have disparate processes that aren’t performing well. That will work against your revenue goals. If you want to grow and scale, there must be a systematic approach — and that is sales enablement.”

Download Our New Report

Learn more about Cortado Group’s leading-edge Sales Enablement 2.0 program. See how it can transform your sales organization into a revenue-generating success story. Download our new report: “Sales Enablement 2.0 — The Solution for Solving Revenue Growth Challenges.”

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