Hi, I’m Alistair Powell and I run SalesBuilder.net

After a career in sales, and in particular large complex sales, I noticed that much of the traditional sales training was focused on sales teams and the typical “show up and throw up” or death by PowerPoint approach.

I also noticed that in some cases, senior managers and directors could be very effective at sales – but very few were confident in this area. I remember  a couple in particular, who were fantastic at engaging with prospects, and punching way above their weight for a small company, often outperforming the larger and “safer options”. They did this not by persuasion, or pitching – but by engaging and asking questions.

I also realised I had developed this approach over the years, not through training but by trial and error. Sales is not about you speaking – its about your prospect communicating his or her issues to you – which he will only do if he or she trusts you.

Hence I decided there was a need for this type of training and built up my training material around this approach. I help Senior Managers with a tried and tested sales method – based on building relationships, asking questions and qualifying.

Below are some examples of where this approach has been successfully adopted, and a short summary of my career.

Helping Companies to Grow

I help small to medium size businesses to sell more and achieve growth.

Typically, this covers:

Strategy Coaching
Developing and implementing a strategy for growth. Once the strategy is defined, then an action plan is put in place to ensure the strategy is achieved, including all aspects of sales process, staff recruitment, and development
Sales Skills and Confidence Sales training and development for the sales management and sales team, reinforced over a period of time to ensure habits are changed
Sales Leadership Providing the senior management team with the leadership skills to motivate their people to perform at their best


Achieving on-going and lasting results

Four example companies where I have helped to deliver long-term improvements are:

IT Company Worked closely with the senior management team to recruit the right sales team, implement a consistent sale process, embed sales skill and manage the sales team effectively. The sales team was grown from two people to six, and a new sales process implemented. This has led to the company growing from an initial 15 customers to now over 1,200 customers worldwide.
Recruitment Company Working with the Managing Director and her team, I have helped them grow by more than 40% over the last two years. This includes strategy development and leadership with the management team and sales skills development with the sales team. The company has recently opened its third office and continues to grow at a rapid rate
Garden Machinery Business This well know local business has recognised the benefit of good customer service, and its effect on sales. As a result, they have implemented a companywide training course on Customer Care, with over 75% of the people in the business attending one or more of the eight modules being delivered. This covers subjects such as delivering great customer care, being a professional communicator, up selling and exceeding our promises on delivery and customer satisfaction
Industrial Services company This company was suffering from a reduction in turnover and loss of profit. We have restructured the organisation, and implemented a strategy for growth. An action plan is now in place for each area of the business, including trade and retail. This has already resulted in a significant upturn in business. Supporting this is a sales plan and training in sales skills to help qualify new leads and close more business.


Career History:

AJMP Ltd – Owner – September 2010 to present

I set up this business to provide a service for local companies, especially small to medium sized companies, to help them develop and grow.

Over the last three years I have expanded the business and now work with clients in many different sectors, including IT, software, recruitment, engineering, retail, in both the business to business and business to consumer industries.

The training provided is very much hands on, interactive in style, based on well proven learning exercises, and using ongoing reinforcement.

I am qualified by the Association of Proposal Management Professionals, the Sandler Sales Institute (for sales skills) and GrowthAccelerator (for business coaching and training).

Shipley Ltd. June 2007 to September 2010 – Sales Director

As the Sales Director, I was responsible for sales into major accounts and prime contractors around the UK and Europe. Our customers were companies tendering for large scale, complex bids, often over a long timescale. We also specialised in tenders governed by the European Commission rules as well as Competitive Dialogue procurements. We provided on-site training and support, helping customers to write bids and tender responses. During my time as Sales Director, we achieved a 30% increase in company growth, and new contracts with major prime contractors.

Harmonic Ltd – Oct 2005 to May 2007 – Sales Director

As Sales Director, I was responsible for developing new business with UK Prime Contractors and helped them to win major UK tenders. This involved the provision of skilled resources such as bid managers, project managers and consultants, matching company needs to our pool of expert resources. We also provided consultancy on how to implement a winning bid process, write good Executive Summaries and manage complex proposals.

SyntheSys Systems Engineers – Jan 2004 to Sept 2005 – Business Development Director

Helped Synthesys to win major new contracts with UK and European companies, in the defence and public sector marketplace, and in particular with the UK Ministry of Defence.

Aerosystems (now BAE Systems), Yeovil – Feb 1996 to Dec 2003 – Business Development Manager

Business Development Manager responsible for a team of people that won new business with UK Ministry of Defence, major UK prime contractors as well as in Norway, Sweden, France and other overseas countries. This was for complex defence communication system software.