Ghana IT firms are selling their services abroad
IT & business support organizations in Ghana offer services needed around the world. The problem is how to connect to them. Twenty companies sat down with a top sales trainer to learn how to close a deal, taking their business plans to the next level.
Last year, the companies supported under the NTF V Ghana Tech project completed an intensive, eight-month programme on how to market their services abroad. This year, they learned how to boost their efforts with specialized training in sales.
For Samuel Marfo at Npontu Technologies, the training prompted his company to introduce a new product arm targeted at international markets. Their new IT consultancy and outsourcing service looks to tap into opportunities overseas through project collaborations and partnerships.
‘I can confidently say that after that training, we met our end of year revenue expectations by the end of the first quarter.’
The Netherlands Trust Fund V programme at the International Trade Centre (ITC) brought in Michael Adonteng, founder of the Africa Sales Academy, to lead the training. He teaches technology companies the technical skills needed to research, track and complete sales. But he also focuses on “soft” skills to give people the emotional intelligence to win over clients and to know which leads are worth pursuing.
Npontu put both sets of skills to use at London Tech Week and Tech in Ghana, where NTF V brought companies to meet potential investors, partners and customers.
That opportunity led to a close link with two potential investors, and a possible UK customer for Npontu’s outsourcing.
Their newly built skills also helped land the company a partnership with South African telecom MTN to manage their small business subscribers in Nigeria, developing systems to serve those customers on a revenue-sharing model.
As a result, the company is rapidly expanding, recruiting four full-time sales staff and taking on 200 interns from the University of Cape Coast, Marfo said.
Focus on specific markets
Suku Technologies also made in-roads through the training by working through concrete steps to identify where they should target their sales efforts.
‘We do management consulting, so based on the research in the export marketing development, we understood these are services we can outsource,’ said software developer Desire Sackitey.
For businesses in the European Union and the United States, Suku verifies the businesses they work with to weed out scammers. They also provide software and support to companies, working on everything from network engineering to online marketing. Their online learning modules help businesses to train their staff.
Sackitey said that as a result of their research, the company has created an e-residency in Estonia, where foreign firms are encouraged to register businesses that give them a foothold in the European Union.
Their second target market required a totally different approach. Working through the training materials, Suku saw opportunities in Sierra Leone. But while the company has created only a digital footprint in Estonia, they’re working to open a physical office in Freetown to run an operation similar to their business in Accra.
That’s led Suku to bring on two additional staff and a new cohort of interns to handle the new work. And Sackitey said the company is still following up on leads that emerged from London Tech Week After that event, Suku was chosen by educational tech company Generation Africa to implement their new programmes in Ghana.
‘This program aligns with our goal of generating employment opportunities and empowering the youth of Ghana through skill development,’ Sackitey said.
They’re also working with Niyo Group, another education company, to bring their platform into Ghana.
As the companies grow, ITC will continue working with them on their sales strategy and outreach.
About the project
The Netherlands Trust Fund V (NTF V) (July 2021 – June 2025) is based on a partnership between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands and the International Trade Centre. The programme supports MSMEs in the digital technologies and agribusiness sectors. Its ambition is two-fold: to contribute to an inclusive and sustainable transformation of food systems, partially through digital solutions, and drive the internationalisation of tech start-ups and export of IT & BPO companies in selected Sub-Saharan African countries.