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In a Coraggio Business Insights interview with Michael Abela the Managing Director of Their Care one of Australia’s fastest growing childcare providers and Coraggio Chair, he cites it is critical as a business owner you understand who your stakeholders are you are selling to. Sales depends on the content of what you are selling for the decision maker of the buyer. If you are selling a tennis ball it is low impact and if the product is positioned the right way. This is called Channel sales (or indirect sales) which is simply a sales strategy in which a parent company sells products through another company. Outsourcing to other companies is primarily for larger, affordable distribution and make up approximately 75 percent of the world’s sales and consumer market.

The three main strategies in choosing a partner for a successful partnership exploration, depending on how your business operates include:

1. Increased sales reach. This strategy aims to expand your customer base either by partnering with a distributor who already works in your target market, for geographical expansion, an affiliate for advertising, or a consultant for sales and business development management.

2. Increased distribution. This strategy increases the speed of your delivery and customer support. Ideal partnerships for this could be a reseller or distributor, an independent retailer, or a dealer. The key is that you have inventory that needs faster management.

3. Combined solutions and maintenance. This mutually beneficial strategy escalates the value and sales of each one’s products. For example, a catering company may partner with a beverage service to provide both food and drinks.

However according to Michael Abela, with higher involvement sales, including B2B products and services, such as a tender response which for a Government tender incorporating compliance and regulatory obligations. Additionally a more personable selling technique is required which demonstrates your business understands the problem and is able on all probity fronts to provide a timely, cost-effective solutions for tax payers. The challenge for many businesses is conducting the groundwork to lay the foundation in order to receive a high success outcome. It is imperative to align your selling narrative and vernacular within your documentation clearly highlighting a solution to the sales market position.

In essence, whether your client is public or a private enterprise, identify their pain points, proactively fill any gaps in your company’s market offering (which may include ISO accreditation and relevant Australian standards certification), prior to offering a seamless, cost-effective and plausible solution, as well as ensuring you are ready to –

graphic explaining sales process

Furthermore understanding the structure and dynamics of the Department to which you are submitting a tender for example the Government Affairs & Relations, as well as the decision making personalities and triggers of key players is imperative. This information including non-verbal linguistics from facial expressions and hints may be uncovered during face to face meetings with your prospective clients. This is fundamental to ensure you present your business value proposition – their return on their investment in awarding your business the contract / tender, towards better understanding what to write in tenders and proposals to directly align with the client’s vernacular, not just how to write.

Create a buyer’s, not a selling mindset for customers by knowing your prospect’s pain points and correlating your responses to meet their needs. For example, what is your prospect’s ‘pain’ they are experiencing that only your business can resolve? Do they need to introduce new systems or technology? A new product line? Is their productivity suffering? Are they looking to improve efficiency? You must establish a clear idea of what they want you to do.

Define the prospects desired outcomes. How have they measured success previously and how will they define success for this project? Do they have in place appropriate KPIs? Establish how success will be communicated and to whom in the chain of command, particularly pertinent for public tenders.

Be realistic, nothing is a straight line and provide quality, diversity and scale

Nobody can control the market however you can take measures to be a growth business by understanding what are the industry regulations? Who are the key decision makers? Have you generated a listening environment to build relations to engage with key stakeholders? Do you regularly assess any complaints – they provide opportunity for improvement? What can you do to extend your market offering, particularly in high growth environments? Are you prepared to fail forward, afterall you only lose if you don’t learn? Do you have a defensive strategy based on desired revenue? Get comfortable stealing market share from your competitors.

Photo of a winding road

Generate and work through the Building Blocks

Conduct extensive research to assess the current landscape relevant to your industry sector. For example, review the regulatory framework. How do you maximise opportunities? Have you done your due diligence? Complex markets are “blue sky” and generate margins. Do you have first mover advantage?

It is wise to start with a statement of purpose for your industry / distributorship partnerships, which aligns with your company’s overall values and goals. Once you identify your purpose, it’s easier to see what kinds of affiliations would benefit your company and the most effective business model.

McKinsey surveyed more than 1,000 companies, which unearthed five meaningful differences:

1. Commitment to the future – fast growers have a long-term outlook
The most effective sales leaders acknowledge they need to anticipate changes that could turn into opportunities or threats. Yet the best leaders move beyond acknowledgement to commitment. Sales leaders must consistently monitor the macro-environment in search of sales opportunities. Companies have to be willing to take risks now to create sales capacity long before the revenue will materialise.

Michael Abela cites,

“Plant the seeds knowing they will take a while to grow and reap ensuing rewards.”

2. Focus on key aspects of digital
Successful brands don’t just “do digital”; they use their full arsenal of capabilities to massively increase the effectiveness of their sales force and to transform the
customer buying experience to be “digital first.”

3. Harnessing of the full range of sales analytics
Only now is the promise of advanced analytics catching up to the hype. Take customer analytics. Companies that use it extensively see profit improvements
126 percent higher than competitors who don’t.

4. Investment in people
A rigorous focus on sales-force training is a clear differentiator between the fast- and slow-growing companies McKinsey surveyed identifying the fast growers are committed to improving sales talent and performance. Just under half the fast growers spend significant time and money on sales-force training, compared to 29 percent of slow growers.

5. Aligning a clear vision with leadership action
The two most important factors contributed to sales success were management articulation of a clear and consistent vision and strategy, followed by leadership commitment.

Articulating the vision should be simple. Besides being simple, the aspiration was bold, specific, and easily measurable.

Coraggio CEO, Richard Skarzynski cites,

“An essential strategy to ensure business success is consistency in your market offering and leverage intelligence from mentors, like Chair Michael Abela. Coraggio Members generate psychological bonds amongst each other to gain perspective, increase productivity and elevate personal achievement.”

Business and personal insights captured from Michael Abela, Managing Director of TheirCare and Chair of Coraggio

1. Describe your business, market offering and the growth of your business.

TheirCare provides high quality and engaging before and after school programs and vacation care in Primary
Schools throughout Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.

The business commenced operations in 2017 and our first service in Melbourne later that year. Our presence is now in more than 300 schools with close to 1,500 employees.

2. What are the greatest challenges to running your business? Share with us your key learnings.

The greatest challenge in any business is ensuring you deliver on the commitments you make to your customers and employees, whilst implementing the values important to you. Implementing this through rapid growth and during a global pandemic has been challenging. The key lessons are knowing your values, make sure the organisation is structured to be able to deliver consistently aligned to your values, establish a governance and review process to learn from your mistakes to ensure you are constantly improving.

3. What is the hardest decision you have ever had to make?

As a business owner and manager, we make challenging decisions daily. As long as those decisions are reflective our values then they should not be difficult (regardless of the consequences). I find the hardest decisions are to say no to a potential customer/partnership. I have had a few instances where we have chosen not to accept the offer of a new school partnership because we didn’t think it was the right fit. It is never easy to say no to a potential customer however sometimes NO is the right answer for the business.

4. What are your greatest accomplishments in life so far?

My family…being a father and husband is the most important role of my life and my greatest success. I believe my success in business is not measured by the growth, scale or profits we earn (although they are important) but rather the fact I have something I am passionate about every day. My energy leading a successful company is my greatest achievement (outside of my family).

5. How do you think being a Coraggio Member has (or likely to) facilitate productive outcomes and growth for either of your businesses?

The Coraggio scaling up methodology is a sound framework to capture key planning building blocks and hold you accountable for delivery. Importantly, a plan only works if you constantly reflect on the commitments you make and being part of Coraggio reinforces that reflection.

6. What three key things do you focus on to scale your business?

  • Maintain visibility of your customers and delivery (measure everything)
  • Deliver what you promise and if you fail, acknowledge it and fix it quick
  • Look after you staff and make sure they understand where you are going

7. What percentage increase have you seen in your revenue since joining Coraggio?

Greater than 250%

jenga blocks

What is Coraggio?

Operating a company typically presents complex issues, sometimes on a daily basis. Imagine if you could leverage the experience from an extensive group of industry peers to improve your decision making and social proof as well as futureproofing a successful sustainable business, whilst being held accountable?

Also imagine if you gained the peace of mind to seamlessly access these answers and navigate business challenges, simply by connecting with entrepreneurs and gaining knowledge from business leaders? This is the strength of peer to peer leadership mentoring and impactful, meaningful relations.

Coraggio offers a mutual exchange of expertise, ideas and a support system enabling you to capitalise on a give-and-take dynamic amongst advisors who have walked the path before, mitigating risk to your business.

Leading business owners and entrepreneurs join Coraggio to become part of a highly effective business community facilitating leadership, guaranteeing accountability and sharing innovative ideas within a cohesive and confidential national network.

This mutual exchange of Member’s expertise tangibly results in sustainable revenue streams, increased cash reserves and productive outcomes to future proof your business.

Coraggio Chairs are industry leaders, Members are forward-thinking advisors and all Advisory Boards are dedicated to the ongoing success of their fellow Member’s businesses, offering Fearless Objective Advice – that’s the Coraggion Spirit!

Would you like to be a part of this?

Become an integral Member of a confidential group of business owners sharing their insights and experiences for the benefit of your business? Imagine how your business would prosper from connecting with a broader community consisting of more than 400 high performing and driven industry leaders!

Explore Membership today! Find out how our proven program can assist you build a better business and become a better leader.

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