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Take 1 overhauls Sales to get in shape for leadership and revenue growth in the global TV content services market.


Founded 20 years ago by Dom Bourne, Take 1 has grown to become the world’s leading independent provider of TV transcription, captioning, and translation services.

In tough economic conditions and in a rapidly changing and commoditising global TV market, Take 1 was experiencing plateauing sales. The Board wanted to both gauge and improve the sales function as it prepared to re-position the company as a leading digital content and metadata services partner to the world’s largest TV networks, broadcasters and production companies, while also boosting growth esp. in the US.

The Brief

The brief from the CEO and the Board was to:-

  • review the sales function (incl. personnel, management and processes) against best practice and strategic Board goals
  • propose the necessary improvements
  • implement the agreed recommendations within the Take 1 team

This included determining ‘What’s working’ and ‘What’s not working’ – and whether the shortcomings were a result of long term or short term market conditions or weaknesses in the sales function.

The Work

The initial Strategic Sales Review and Plan involved a deep dive review and analysis of the sales function incl. a wide range of personnel interviews. It also included an examination of Sales’ engagement with the Board, Marketing, Technical, Production and strategic partners, as well as identification of the Quick Wins. The primary recommendations were for:-

  • Upskilling and coaching of the sales team
  • Clear definition of, and focus on, core Value Propositions
  • Urgent sales missions to the West and East Coasts of the US
  • New or streamlined sales management processes
  • A clear partner strategy (incl. an Appraisal and Qualification procedure)

A review was performed on whether sales team members were fit-for-purpose incl. a cost-per-head comparison across the team, set against their achievement of new and ongoing sales revenues.

The next phase of work was to implement the above proposals and embed them in day-to-day practice. This included structured team workshops to craft core Value Propositions for the range of offerings into relevant market sectors across the value chain, and for different geographies.

The Results

  • Licence and support were given to the CEO and President to be ruthless in their focus on key client targets with the biggest strategic opportunities and potential for short-term revenue
  • Successful missions to the US West and East Coasts were made, and significant revenue opportunities with major clients opened up or consolidated. Key meetings with potential channel and distribution partners were also held.
  • Bespoke Target/Key Account Management Plan documentation was created and used to great effect in the US missions. The T/KAM planning and execution processes drive strategic long-term relationships, revenues and sustained Preferred Supplier status with ‘Premier League’ customers
  • Clear Value Propositions were created by sector and geography in the context of a widening and more complex range of solutions – incl. focusing away on a rate card approach. (This involved the identification of a client KPI, the Netflix ‘Preferred Vendor Redelivery Rate’, as core to Take 1’s Value Proposition and also to sales and marketing messaging)

Key Achievements

A detailed Strategic Sales Review and Plan to determine what was & wasn’t working in (and around) the sales function

  • An evaluation of the effectiveness of sales team members
  • Steve acted as an experienced sounding board and provided structured sales guidance for Take 1’s CEO, Louise Tapia, and Founder/President Dom Bourne
  • Constructive challenge in internal sales meetings and to the Board
  • Structured US ‘sales mission’ planning and successful execution
  • Introduction of new sales approaches and tools e.g. Key/Target Account Management Plans
  • Creation of, and focus on Sales and Marketing, strategic Value Propositions beyond mere USPs
  • Establishment of, and driving forward, strategic partner initiative incl. engagement with target partners
  • Maintenance of a keen and experienced eye on the overall sales numbers and management, to free up the CEO to lead the company and focus on:-
    • being the outward face of the company
    • selling to strategic clients
    • helping to get the best out of the sales team
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