Case Studies

LYNX SEES PIPELINE GROWTH OF £5M+ ACHIEVES INCREMENTAL ORDERS OF £1.5M & CREATES A NEW £600K REVENUE STREAM

  • LYNX SEES PIPELINE GROWTH OF £5M+ ACHIEVES INCREMENTAL ORDERS OF £1.5M  & CREATES A NEW £600K REVENUE STREAM
  • LYNX SEES PIPELINE GROWTH OF £5M+ ACHIEVES INCREMENTAL ORDERS OF £1.5M  & CREATES A NEW £600K REVENUE STREAM

“The ROI for this project has been phenomenal. The incremental orders alone equate to over 20 times what we spent with Orbit and the pipeline is healthier than it has ever been.  The business has benefited on a number of levels from Orbit’s assertive agenda and challenging thinking.”

- Paul Edgeley, CEO, Lynx Technology

The Client

Chesterfield-based Lynx Technology (now known as BT Engage IT) was established in 1973 and went on to build revenue streams of £40M+.  An IT & Comms services business with over 500 employees Lynx specialised in outsourced services for SMEs and partnered with the biggest and the best in the industry.  As well as achieving Microsoft Gold Partner status, the company also had strategic partnerships with Cisco, Symantec and HP to name a few.

The Supplier

Orbit Business Development Limited is a specialist people development consultancy for the IT sector with particular expertise in senior executive coaching, sales leadership and account development programmes.   Orbit is well known for its powerful consultative approach to solution selling and for assisting organisations with Mergers & Acquisitions strategies both pre and post execution.    

The Brief

Lynx Technology engaged with Orbit on 2 levels for an integrated sales programme.  The company had had some bad luck in terms of 2 failed Sales Director appointments and the CEO had identified four senior sales managers, all of whom had great potential and were keen and capable of taking on more responsibility.  Paul Edgeley, CEO, Lynx Technology at the time said, “Having known the Directors of Orbit for several years I recognised they had a lot to offer in the area of senior level executive coaching.  I wanted Orbit’s help to enable four key people make a step change quite quickly.  Secondly, I wanted an account management programme for the entire sales force that would empower them to adopt a more consultative approach to selling and improve their account planning skills in order to grow our revenue streams within the existing customer base.”

The Solution

Orbit delivered a tailor-made coaching and a sales leadership programme for 4 senior executives, including 3 sales managers who were key to delivering the organisation’s growth strategy and a strategic IT consultant who was carrying a challenging remit for growing the consultancy side of the business. 

Orbit also developed a bespoke, 6-month, account development programme for the 12-strong sales team based on Orbit’s powerful ‘solution selling’ approach. 

The programme covered, in depth, what it takes to be positioned as a strategic supplier.  Orbit reviewed the Lynx portfolio of services in detail with the team and in particular explored the business problems Lynx products and services solve.  The programme was designed to help the team engage strategically with clients and learn how to approach them on a business level, rather than from technical perspective.

Lynx Technologies's Top 5

We asked the team at Lynx to highlight the benefits gained from the programme.  Here are their top 5.

1.  THE PROGRAMME HAS STRENGTHENED THE ORGANISATION FOR THE FUTURE
“The Orbit programme came just as I was setting up a new strategic consulting team at Lynx and my focus was all around getting engagement from the sales team to embrace what was a significant change in sales approach for them.  The Orbit programme helped greatly and I am already seeing good evidence my team is stepping up to the challenge as we begin to reposition consultancy as a ‘paid-for’ service throughout the business.”
David Cotgreave, Strategic IT Consultant, Lynx Technologies

2.  JOINED UP MANAGEMENT
Orbit has encouraged the sales team to involve their colleagues from other areas of business in account planning – explaining exactly what sales are trying to achieve and asking for their help, advice and support from a delivery perspective.  This worked wonders in terms of cohesive project management and with better positioning of account strategies internally with the Lynx Board.
 
“It was clear to me from day one, this programme would join up the management team’s efforts. The Orbit coaching methodology has been welcomed by the management team and this has become common practice for our sales managers, and most importantly I have seen real evidence of it continuing after the conclusion of the program.  It has helped many within the team not only better engage with their sales colleagues, but also colleagues from other departments.”
Jamie Buttle, Sales Director, Lynx Technology.

3.  MORE ACTIVE STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT
Orbit worked with the sales team to re-examine their sales tools to help them work more effectively with clients.  A particular element that stood out as part of the Sales Module was whether they truly understood their clients business requirements, how they express their understanding and how they communicate this as part of the solution they put forward.  As a result they have enhanced their Proposal Template and the Account Plan to incorporate reminders and guidelines on this.  E.g.  they are now equipped to think about and articulate the Implications of not moving forward with the Lynx solution. 

 “We are meeting more senior decision makers and the team is surprised at how easy this has been.  They have learned why it pays to gain a thorough understanding of the client’s business needs during the sales cycle – and are finding it all incredibly interesting and rewarding.  Being able to probe about the business implications of the solutions they are proposing and having empathy regarding how their recommendations will affect the people they are doing business with, has elevated my junior sales team to an advanced level.”
James Pickering, Sales Manager, Lynx Technology
 
4.  THE TEAM HAS TAKEN FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ITS OWN RESULTS
“Recently promoted from Sales Manager to Sales Director when the Orbit programme began meant I was empowered from the start.  Orbit demonstrated and acknowledged that working on improving sales is never a ‘steady state’.  It was important to the team that management and colleagues recognise there are many factors affecting the overall result.  Orbit has given us some reliable tools that allow us to measure the outcomes of our sales efforts and we now use them as a matter of course.  This has totally changed our perspective on the contribution we are collectively making to the business as a team. In my new role as Sales Director, I am determined to make sure this continues.”
Jamie Buttle, Sales Director, Lynx Technology

5.  ACCOUNT PLANNING ELEVATED TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL
“We analysed where we are currently positioned within our accounts and set medium/long term objectives for each.  This is now standard practice at Lynx and because Orbit has demonstrated how good account planning has a huge positive impact on sales results.  Across the board, we now do it without thinking.  It is no longer seen as an administrative burden that eats away at sales productivity, it is recognized as a critical success factor.”
Jamie Buttle, Sales Director, Lynx Technology

The Final Word

Paul Edgeley, CEO of Lynx Technology said, “What I like most about Orbit is they live in the real world – and that’s rare.  They operate with a regular ROI barometer for their programmes from start to finish.  Orbit knows how to make sales theory work in the real world – that’s clear from the pipeline and incremental order results we have recorded as a direct result of this programme.

 “Orbit has enabled us to adopt strategic IT consultancy as our primary engagement model with clients.  This not only brings an additional revenue stream in its own right but has created significant pull-through revenue opportunities from other service areas.  Their input has helped us make significant progress building a reliable annuity into the future, which ultimately makes Lynx more saleable.

“In addition, for me personally as CEO, it was good having them around as a reliable sounding board providing the solid support I needed during a challenging period.”  
Paul Edgeley, CEO, Lynx Technology


2016 UPDATE:

Since this Orbit programme was delivered in 2007/2008, Lynx Technologies was sold to BT for an undisclosed sum and is now known as BT Engage IT.

James Pickering featured in this case study is now a senior sales manager at Phoenix, a leading provider of Cloud, business continuity and managed IT services in the UK, listed on the London Stock Exchange with revenues of £212M per annum, 3600 customers and 2000 employees.


James Pickering said, “The Orbit programme described in this case study gave me the skills and confidence I needed to adopt a structured developmental approach to sales management which I have used ever since. This has helped me to move into a much more senior sales management role at Phoenix where I now manage a large team of highly level account managers. In my role at Phoenix I re-engaged Orbit for a solution selling programme for my team, and the results were again outstanding – in terms of both financial improvements and massive growth in the people skills.

Jamie Buttle, also featured in this case study, is now Managing Director of Stoneseed –leading multi-sourcing and project delivery specialists.  His colleague, David Cotgreave is also with Stoneseed as Professional Services Director.

Jamie Buttle said, “The nature of client engagement has changed rapidly in the IT Sector over the last 5 years, from both perspectives of customer acquisition and account management.  Clients are now rightly more demanding in their expectation that suppliers have a deeper understanding of their business direction, stakeholder requirements and decision processes. It is not a quick or easy task to elevate your sales engagement to this level, but for those suppliers who wish to seriously address this challenge, I would recommend Orbit’s sales development programme.”

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