FastTrackTech coaches 5 Ivorian start-ups to commercial success

5 October 2021
ITC News

How do you persuade a customer? How do you respond to their concerns or close a sales meeting positively? A salesperson needs to know and be able to use specific techniques if he or she hopes to achieve his or her objectives. Commissioned by the #FastTrackTech project, consultant Ndèye Khady Sall worked with five tech start-ups in Abidjan to strengthen their sales skills.

Ground-level support that makes you want to progress

For each of the five selected start-ups, Ndèye Khady Sall first conducted an in-depth audit of the business strategy and defined a personalised action plan. The expert in business strategies and digital marketing then provided online coaching sessions, before concluding her support with hands-on training. She explains: “I like role-plays because they create a collective emulation. By playing the customer, salespeople can project themselves into real-world situations and put their arguments to the test. Then we all debrief together.” Even the most experienced salespeople learn to interact better with their customers. Since the training, Idriss Marcial Monthe has been pleased with the changes in his company. The manager of CinetPay, an Ivorian company specialising in electronic money collection and transfer solutions, observes that his sales staff are more involved and motivated than ever: “The coaching has led us to rethink our sales organisation. We now have a team dedicated to key accounts and another one to online sales. Our sales staff are paid according to an attractive and transparent scale, which encourages them to give their best. Another new feature is that we re-evaluate our strategy and objectives every six months. In this way, we can tackle any difficulties and stay on course.”

Highlighting success factors and avoiding pitfalls

For the five selected companies, the personalised coaching combined with hands-on training has helped to build on their good practices and stay up to date. “I encourage managers to keep an eye on their performance indicators and to check that their products match the needs of the market. Regular reporting enables them to take the necessary decisions, set realistic goals and sustain the commitment of their sales staff,” states expert Ndèye Khady Sall. It will take a few months before the coaching effects can be measured in tangible ways. Idriss Marcial Monthe is already satisfied and optimistic: “The consultant helped us to simplify our processes. I experienced her support as an open dialogue that leaves room for debate, and not as a top-down procedure or a fixed plan to follow. Thanks to Ndèye Khady Sall's advice, our strategic vision has become clearer. By 2022, CinetPay plans to conquer two additional markets, Niger and Congo Brazzaville.”
Financed by Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands Trust Fund IV, the #FastTrackTech project is implemented by the International Trade Centre. Thanks to a targeted coaching and training offer as well as matchmaking with potential clients and investors, the #FastTrackTech project, since October 2019, is committed along-side digital entrepreneurs who aspire to international growth in Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Mali, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia.