Sales are crucial to the success of any company, and many small businesses may have limited resources to explore new markets. Cross-border opportunities can be an essential part of a company’s growth strategy, but lack of knowledge and feet on the ground can hamper progress. InterTradeIreland can support firms to develop and win new business through its cross-border trade funding programmes, Elevate and Acumen.
Specifically aimed at microbusinesses, InterTradeireland’s Elevate programme links firms with expert consultants who can identify and capitalise on cross-border sales opportunities. €5,500 (£5,000 stg) of consultancy time is available to eligible companies. They select an approved advisor who suits their business needs, then work together to develop a winning sales plan, generate tangible leads and fast-track their cross-border exporting journey.
InterTradeireland’s Acumen programme provides funding to help businesses increase their cross-border export sales in Northern Ireland, directly supporting them to employ a new recruit in sales and marketing. lnterTradelreland funds half of their cost to a maximum of €18,750 for a full-time position, or €10,000 for a part-time position.
Case Study: Veri, kilkenny-based software company
Veri benefited from InterTradeIreland’s Elevate support, and has recently started on the Acumen programme. The company has developed award winning cloud software that digitises paper-based documentation for quality assurance purposes. After a 20-year background in training and development, company founder and Chief Executive, Ann-Marie McSorley, decided there had to be a safer, cheaper and better way of tracking and tracing outcomes for training audits. Veri ensures training delivery can be benchmarked to track quality, milestones, skills, feedback and outcomes in real time via a simple mobile app. The software reduces duplication and administration costs by up to 30%, as well as helping clients to measure KPIs and ensure they get a return on their investment in training and programme delivery across a range of sectors.
How Elevate Helped
The company heard about InterTradeireland’s Elevate programme through an accelerator programme in Belfast. “having worked in Northern Ireland for 15 years I was aware of the great work InterTradeireland does in cross-border business development,” Ann-Marie explains. “We worked with a consultant funded by InterTradeIreland who supported us on the Elevate programme. The programme gave us structure and support in navigating and prospecting for new business in the cross-border market. We secured a substantial contract in January of this year and recently won a second three-year contract in the mentorship programme Track and Trace.”
Veri has now moved on to InterTradeireland’s Acumen programme, enabling the company to hire a dedicated salesperson for the Northern Ireland market. “We now have clients in the north west and on both sides of the border,” Ann-Marie adds. “in order to support this and extend into other regions in Northern Ireland, we required a dedicated business development technical software salesperson, so we recently recruited Grace Phelan.
We are at the start of our Acumen project, and our objective is to double our business in Northern Ireland in 2020.” Find out more about Veri by contacting the team at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit veri.ie
Start Your Cross-Border Journey
InterTradeIreland’s research shows that 75% of businesses that have gone on to sell off the island took their first steps on the export ladder through entrance into all-island market. If you think your business could benefit from sales and marketing supports, then find out more at intertradeireland.com/sales-support/