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Sales and Marketing Programme: final review report (Business product review)


The Sales and Marketing Programme (SAM) Product, delivered to relationship managed companies within Scottish Enterprise’s (SE’s) Market Development Intervention Framework, aimed to embed the ability to carry out effective sales and marketing strategy, planning, management and practice in individuals with operational responsibility for sales and marketing in growth companies. SAM is a modular ‘one-to-many’ workshop product. The Product is designed to provide flexibility in delivery and companies at varying stages of development can benefit from completion of one, several or all four modules. It was designed to give companies a competitive advantage and winning position in their marketplace. The review aimed to: validate the delivery of the Product against its specification; assess the Product’s fitness for purpose; and identify potential for improvement of service and effectiveness of the Product.


The study used the following research methods: consultation with the SE appraisal and evaluation team and a senior manager in the SE Products team; a review of relevant information and documentation; and a facilitated discussion amongst the product users and implementation managers.


The Product review confirmed satisfaction with the SAM Product based on anecdotal feedback from participating businesses. Particular strengths of the Product include: the modular format of the SAM Programme, which allows participating companies to engage with aspects of the sales and marketing process as time and resources allow; the effectiveness of the ‘Sales Skills’ module in generating early positive effects within participating businesses associated with growth in turnover; and the Product’s coverage of a wide range of topics and the capacity for companies to identify potential participants from across their organisation to benefit from up-skilling. The main weaknesses identified include: lack of a forward programme of module events specifying dates, times, locations and suppliers; potential for inconsistencies in the quality of content and delivery due to use of a range of suppliers, different approaches to organising delivery within SE Regions and low levels of awareness of the module content; and lack of management information and in particular feedback on the performance of the suppliers in delivering the service and the quantifiable effects of the SAM Programme on the business performance of participating companies, preventing assessment of the contribution of the Product to measures specified in the SE Business Plan and Government Economic Strategy.


The report outlines a series of potential improvements relating to: developing greater understanding of participants; marketing of SAM; measuring effects on companies; programming of provision; flexibility in delivery; and procurement. The report recommends that consideration is given to: assessing the potential scale of provision of each module, based on topic and market capacity; prioritising resources towards delivery of the more popular and immediately effective modules to a wider constituency of businesses; the rationalisation of the delivery of the less popular and more intensive modules at a national or joint-regional level; management information measures and protocols to record progress in delivery of the Product and modules; a programme of delivery and associated budgetary provision to drive and monitor progress in delivering modules against activity projections; establishing a standard process for initiation and management of Product and module delivery; placing greater emphasis on the marketing of the SAM Product; preparation of a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the Product; and clearly specifying the market failure of the Product.

Author Malcolm Watson Consulting
Published Year 2011
Report Type Research
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses