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Sales Geek: Behind the B2B franchise trying to start a sales revolution

Sales Geek: Behind the B2B franchise trying to start a sales revolution

Founder, Richard Few, explains why the brand's mission is to change the way world see sales

The sales education market can often be expensive and inaccessible, with much of it set up to support bigger businesses. Yet, small businesses make up 93% of the UK economy, and most are started by people who are not from sales or marketing backgrounds. Unfortunately, 80% of them fold within their first five years of trading.

“We enable businesses not just to survive but thrive by providing part-time sales directorship as well as helping them build sales engines to create scalable and sustainable revenue,” explains Richard Few, who set up Sales Geek seven years ago in Lancashire. Now the brand is expanding globally, and is seeking both UK-based franchisees and international multi-unit operators to meet impressive growth targets. We caught up with Richard to find out more.

What does Sales Geek do in a nutshell?

Richard: Our disruptive part-time sales director model is geared towards the small businesses in our communities with the culture and the personality of our brand matching the franchisees who front it. We do this by making sales education more accessible to our clients, whether they’re salespeople, sales leaders, or business owners. We’ve worked hard to ensure that clients who need our help and support feel psychologically safe enough to start the conversation with ‘things aren’t going well, I need some help’. And really, the impact this has on people is huge.

Running your own business when you don’t know how to create sustainable revenue is a scary place to be and the number one reason why businesses fail. Helping to keep people in business is hugely rewarding. Our training is endorsed by the Institute of Sales Professionals (ISP) and clients range from tiny businesses with only one salesperson right up to global brands with large teams, including Panasonic, Royal Mail, and International Airlines Group.

How does your positive culture impact franchisees?

I quit a career that I was miserable in seven years ago to start up Sales Geek, because I wanted to lead a happier and healthier life. Three years ago, we franchised the business to give the same opportunity to other salespeople who find themselves in the same place.

We have the attitude that we borrow our team members from their families for a few hours a week, and we have a duty of care to return them back to their families feeling fulfilled and in good health, rather than grinding them into dust like a lot of organisations do. From the get-go we set out clear values. Two that mean a lot to me personally are geeks make it fun and geeks care.

There’s sometimes a lack of fun and a lack of care in business. We spend a lot of time at work and enjoying it is vital for the team at HQ and our franchisees too. Part of our value
proposition to franchisees is becoming part of a community of like-minded people, so it’s important to us to maintain that culture across our franchise network as it continues
to grow and scale.

All our franchisees are experienced sales directors and leaders – some from an SME background and others from huge organisations like FedEx, Tesla, and Cisco Systems – but all have an appetite for serving their local business communities. They really care about the businesses in their local community, as well as buying into the Sales Geek mission and believing in a world where sales is no longer a dirty word.

What’s the onboarding process for franchisees?

We’ve onboarded 37 franchisees across the UK and the US over the past three years. Onboarding is critical to franchisee success and it’s the area we work on the hardest. It begins with a residential week up at HQ in Lancashire, where we focus on our brand, marketing and business development, vision and goals.

Ultimately, our partners learn how to go from being employed sales directors in large companies to inclusive, valuable members of their local business communities. After that, there’s another five weeks of part-time remote learning followed by regular monthly training on sales, business growth, products and internal training.

We also have a team member who’s dedicated to being in the field. He gives most of his focus to supporting the guys who’ve been with us for nine months or less, helping them to avoid the traps and get started as well as they possibly can.

What territories are currently available?

There are currently two levels of opportunity for prospective partners. We have franchises available both in the UK and in the US market, and international master franchise opportunities as well. In the UK, we’ve mapped out 60 franchisee territories, about 50% of which are already occupied. We’re quite busy in the Northwest, but there are opportunities in the Southwest, the Northeast and a couple of areas in the Midlands, too.

A big part of our growth model is our master franchise territories in America. We’ve identified 13 master franchise territories that compare well to the UK in terms of business populations and how many franchisees they can take. Some of these are large single states like California, Texas and Florida, and others are combinations of states.

We currently have 10 master franchise territories available in the US. Our goal is to recruit 30 master franchises globally, each with an average of 30 franchises by 2030. It’s an ambitious goal but doable on our current trajectory. Although we are engaging directly with people in the US through our own marketing and our recruitment strategy, we’ve also been approached by people in the UK who are looking to take Sales Geek to parts of the EU and even out to Australia and New Zealand.

We’re open to conversations with people in most of the global regions, to be fair, and we are nimble enough as an organisation to be able to respond and react to opportunities. Regions like Asia Pacific, Middle East, and India are going to be a big focus for us in 2024.

What opportunities are there for franchisees to grow, scale and build an asset?

This is the main cornerstone of our offering to our franchisees. At a master franchise level lies a significant business opportunity – with 50-60 franchisees we’d expect a business to
be turning over something in the region of $6-7 million. But equally, at a franchise level our territories are built to a size where franchisees can grow and scale their business.

We grew a million-pound turnover business with a team of nine people here in rural Lancashire – a goal which is completely replicable for any of our franchisees. And despite being only three years into their franchise journey, several UK franchisees are already recruiting. We’ve built territories big enough so they can do just this.

Ultimately, our main driver and mission statement is to change the way the world sees sales. When we first franchised Sales Geek we only had three core products. We now have 14. We’re constantly launching new products and services to our franchisees to help them to grow and scale their business safely and effectively, as well as passing on advice and support. By becoming a global business, we’re both directly and indirectly adding value to our franchisees’ assets, making it easier for them to acquire customers and recruit team members as they grow.

Franchise overview: Sales Geek

  • Established: February 2017
  • Number of units: master franchises – 3; US franchises – 3; UK franchises – 28
  • Min required capital: £63,000 + VAT. With £35,000 + VAT paid up front and the balance of £28,000 +
  • VAT being paid as £7,000 + VAT paid in year 2, 3, 4 and 5.
  • Contact: Lucy Few at franchise@salesgeek.co.uk | Tel: 01254 920 120
  • salesgeek.world or salesgeek.co.uk

*This is paid partner content.

 

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