Make the Break
Make the Break was started to help technical businesses benefit from a little more horsepower in their BD efforts.
We love founder-managed businesses. They are exciting places where the vision has attracted a core team, who have in turn taken the risk to come onboard and be part of the success story.
The skillset assembled in those early days is typically development heavy and product focused. This makes sense, the product or service needs to be developed and the vision requires the work to turn it into reality.
Where there can be a gap is in Business Development. Typically, those same subject matter experts do not find it natural to turn their hand to sales and marketing.
There comes a crunch moment. The business has its first customers, there is a commercial MVP and it’s time to grow the revenue and gain market share. What are the options? Ask the development team to turn their hand to BD? Hire in a big ticket Sales Director right now, with all the investment that takes and accompanying risk if it doesn’t work out? Engage a traditional marketing agency who don’t know the market and/or might want to focus on the nice to haves? Or, try and do it all yourself?
Enter Make the Break. Our thing is to take the brand fundamentals and create a lean, mean Business Development machine to get the business to the next stage. Between Stu and his network, benefit from accessing a Swiss army knife of skills.
We are focused on helping our clients navigate from £500k turnover to £5 million turnover. We do our job right and there comes a day when it’s time to hire in the skills in-house and pass the baton back.
Make the Break started in early 2020. We have since developed a specialism in renewable energy technology and engineering. We have learned how to navigate the market and we understand the common challenges which smaller businesses face in their attempts to scale up in this space.
We get results. The businesses we work with have seen significant uptick in growth. We have achieved major milestones for our clients – be it retaining and growing current accounts, to winning competitive tenders for the first time, right through to breaking into new markets. The hard metrics speak for themselves, we are seeing our clients benefit from healthy and sustained revenue growth year on year.
I started my sales career way back in 2005.
I was living in Edinburgh and took a new business sales job in Exeter (that’s a story for another day). I cut my teeth working in corporate travel and then in Executive Search recruitment. Looking back, those roles were a not only a crash course in sales and customer service but also an early foray into digital marketing. I can think of no better way to skill up.
By 2010, I had moved to Bristol. I joined the specialist ad-tech publisher and events business Existem and progressed to Head of Sales. In that time the conference went international, Munich, Barcelona, New York. The awards went from a London pub to the Grosvenor House in Park Lane. Another publisher and events business followed with Keynote World Media as Senior BDM for their cloud and big data events. Keynote was sold to Informa plc.
I then moved to the digital powerhouse that is Sift. Over the course of nearly seven years I worked across practically every part of the group portfolio (Sift is both publisher of AccountingWEB, MyCustomer and assorted other business titles and the brand behind the B2B marketing agency PracticeWeb).
I went out my comfort zone and took on speaking at progressively bigger stages. Interviewing my Dad live on stage in front of 300 people was a memorable high point. (My Dad is very sweary). I survived that day and have gone on to speak on the marketing stage at the Europe’s largest finance expo, Accountex, at numerous road shows and on more webinars than I care to remember. Content has covered diverse topics such as brand and marketing strategy, lead generation tips and hints, how to structure a sales call and how to lead an account management team.
During my time at Sift, I was both publisher and agency side and booked many £millions of business. I was the commercial lead on the marketing publishing portfolio during a period of sustained growth. As a team we pivoted the proposition towards high value integrated content and lead generation. I won and retained a number of top tier accounts, Microsoft, SAP, Zendesk, SugarCRM, Royal Mail to name just a few.
Later in my career I moved up to Sales and Marketing Director of digital agency, PracticeWeb. We moved the whole business across to Salesforce, which was no mean feat considering we had 18 years of data to sort out. I led the commercial team whose remit covered both new business and the account growth of more than 500 client websites and marketing campaigns (yes it was full on!).
A brief foray into the C-suite at Ascot Group in 2019 told me what I really need to do.
And that was to Make the Break.
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Let's start a conversation
An opportunity for you to talk through where your business has got to and where you would like it to be. We can look to see if we have common ground and if our skills are relevant for what you need. Together we can spec out a project and get going.