Case Study


How a Comprehensive Skills Audit and Sales Coaching Drives Success

Discover how Pareto’s approach to sales coaching and a comprehensive skills audit led to Comtec ensuring that their internal and external sales teams built a more cohesive, transparent, and effective culture based on best practices.

Comtec is an international distributor and supplier of telecommunications equipment and the operators that can build those tools, from data cabinets and server infrastructure to fibre cabling and network switches. Founded in 1978 and employing over 1000 colleagues, the organisation has since opened offices in the Far East and Middle East regions, supporting 15,500 customers across the globe.


  • A need to bring all colleagues on internal and external sales teams to same level of expertise and product knowledge
  • Desire to transform internal processes and inspire sales accountability
  • Shift towards consultative sales processes and unified, consistent procedures from a previous traditional, transactional approach


  • Staff received training in product knowledge and sales excellence, ensuring they can provide high-level service to clients and prospects
  • Introduction of sales reports for external, field-based representatives, which gave clear guidance for meetings
  • Culture transitioned towards one where sales representatives control meetings and provide a value-add to clients and prospects

A Desire for Sales Excellence and Selling Skills Training

Beginning their partnership with Pareto in October 2022, Comtec came to us with a clear need for sales coaching. Managing employee performance had become a complex task, with internal and external sales teams working to different standards—making it difficult to create value in all conversations with clients and an average 10% close rate. 

The Head of Sales and Business Development was looking for an organisation to provide an in-depth consultancy service which would include a skills audit, alongside a bespoke programme of learning and development which would ensure that all representatives were working from the same page. 

Some colleagues had been with the organisation since its founding, resulting in a blend of traditional methodologies and newer techniques that failed to resonate with clients, resulting in meetings being led without clear objectives and failing to drive the next steps that would guide representatives’ future touchpoints. 

In essence, Comtec understood that they needed to shift their internal culture towards that of consultative selling, instead of the transactional approach they had taken with many clients previously. At the same time, time-stealers were becoming a big problem for their representatives, reducing the amount of time they had to proactively prioritise revenue-generating activities

Comtec needed to be able to differentiate themselves as an organisation, and highlight the unique value they produce for their customers. 

The Solution

It was clear that the solution to Comtec’s issues would require a multi-pronged approach, tailored to the unique market of their customers and the ideal customer profile (ICP) that they had established. Driving accountability in sales teams is often a case of not only providing selling skills training, but also offering a more comprehensive resolution, which can help shift the wider organisational culture. 

Following a quick turnaround into the initial consultation phase, Pareto’s expert training providers and account managers spent time with the business conducting a skills audit, aiming to clarify where the talent lay within the organisation’s salespeople. We began by asking the business leaders how they would measure the success of the training and sales accountability intervention—crucial to knowing how effective we’ve been in our provision. 

Whether it’s tracking and understanding the improvement of financial performance metrics, such as the growth of revenue and win/close rates, operational statistics—such as the number of proposals written and meetings booked—or customer and employee performance figures, such as satisfaction, retention, and Net Promoter Score (NPS), our bespoke training projects are all evaluated based on the return on investment they provide to our clients.

Similarly, our consultants spent time looking to understand the client’s unique market, which allowed us to adapt our approach and design an in-depth programme of sales coaching, alongside techniques for managing employee performance for senior team members and supervisory staff. This approach enabled us to assess Comtec’s people, making sure that they were in the right role for their competencies—and, moreover, that any selling skills training that was provided would be relevant to their role and the specific sectors that Comtec served, with the internal and external teams both responsible for quite different duties, despite both being sales-oriented functions. 

This dedication to investing in their employees, sales managers, and border culture ensured that Comtec would be able to successfully and scalably integrate best-practice approaches to sales excellence.

After our consultation, the training phase began, where we would give their salespeople—and managers—the tools and techniques they required to resonate with their current customer base and prospects in their sales funnel. 15 salespeople were trained in total, a blend of internal and external sales personnel, via a mixture of face-to-face, interactive instruction, and virtual programmes delivered via the web.

The first two in-person training sessions were delivered in the relaxed setting of a hotel, with Comtec providing the trainees with pizza and other refreshments during breaks—helping them to feel at ease, despite managers similarly being present in the training session. This informal setting helped to engage even those trainees who may have otherwise been hesitant to participate in the events and roleplays that were planned for each day. 

Through an extensive consultation audit and design phase, we were able to ensure that the training received was based on a refinement of Comtec’s mission, vision, and values, and would always be guided by their goals and ambitions as an organisation. 

As a result, we implemented a blended learning approach which incorporated sales coaching and roleplays in practical, real-world situations that representatives faced, ensuring that best practices and techniques for sales excellence were re-enforced—alongside support for sales leaders and business development managers to make certain that the necessity for a long-term change towards a culture of sales accountability was properly embedded.

We covered the need for effective communication and the importance of rapport and relationship-building, alongside identifying how to adapt your sales approach when building internal and external relationships, and best practices for the consultative sales approach. In addition, we provided additional training in the skills, behaviours, and proactive account management knowledge that would be required at each stage of Comtec’s modified sales process, ensuring that staff were prepared to take ownership of the key accounts and prospects they were responsible for, enabling them to lead meetings and conversations towards a mutually-beneficial solution. 

Making Sales Excellence Stick: Embedding Learning and Development

Following Pareto’s bespoke training and sales coaching programme, representatives and managers were encouraged to spend six to eight weeks embedding their learning into how they approached their everyday tasks and responsibilities. We then revisited the organisation to conduct an evaluation and allow each representative who received training to lead a presentation on how the skills, behaviours, and knowledge were helping to meet the measurable outcomes outlined in the initial phase of consultation. 

The implementation of hard KPIs, standards, and associated goals—fundamental to sales excellence—meant that Comtec’s staff had been provided not only with the selling skills training that was noted when they reached out to us initially, but that they had a robust process in place to lead to success, alongside solid techniques for managing employee performance. 

With the Head of Sales and Business Development also engaging in training, the team were shown that there was a clear commitment to investing in their abilities and future with the organisation.

As part of our embedding process, we offered opportunities for in-depth feedback from salespeople and senior staff alike, alongside a review which evaluated the application of the bespoke mentoring and coaching plans which Pareto had provided during the audit and consultation phase, and a specific action plan which detailed the next steps to be taken to achieve success with current opportunities was defined. 

After their training, external salespeople have readily taken to utilising sales reports to advise the internal team of the objectives they have before going into a meeting with a prospect or existing customer, ensuring that they have a clear plan of action and understand that account’s pain points, crucial to maintaining a robust line of communication between representatives in the field and those located in the office, unifying these once disparate teams. 

At the same time, the cohesion between internal and external teams has been strengthened by the group approach to training, allowing staff in both areas of the business to take better ownership of their roles and responsibilities, helping to realise their potential as professional sales representatives. 

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