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Case studies


How Zutec scaled up its enterprise sales and improved its pipeline

Despite representing over 14% of the global GDP, the construction industry isn’t particularly well known for innovation and embracing new technologies. Zutec is on a mission to change that, helping property developers and construction companies to manage data effectively throughout a building’s lifecycle — from initial design all the way through to ongoing use.


James Cannon started as a salesperson at Createmaster over 12 years ago. Today, Createmaster is now operating as part of the Zutec suite of companies and James is the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO).

As the CRO, James’s primary objective is to increase the company’s top line, which involves improving the sales team’s productivity and increasing the revenue derived from existing customers.

When James first joined Createmaster, it was very much a family business, with a small team of 10 people generating about £300,000 in revenue. At the time, sales were more relationship-driven and the company was able to grow organically, to the point where it now generates over £10 million in revenue. 

However, James knew that purely relying on relationships wouldn’t be enough to reach the next level and break into more enterprise-level clients.

Moving beyond transactions

Zutec is a complex business, with eight different groups of customers that all buy and behave differently. To meet those needs, the company sells 15 solutions depending on where each customer operates in a building’s lifecycle.

Working with construction and property development teams also brings its own sales challenges. 

“Because construction is geared towards projects, we’ve grown up selling to project teams, and project teams rarely consider the wider business,” says James. “A project that we undertake could be three or more years. Each project operates almost as a mini business for the project’s duration, so a transactional approach works to a point.”

However, to continue growing, James knew that the sales team had to go beyond transactional sales. To build a more scalable business, they’d have to upscale the team with the right tools, skills and more strategic thinking. “We realised that we had a good team and wanted to invest in them.”

Finding the right sales enablement provider

Zutec had used other sales training providers before, but one of James’s direct reports had worked with Aaron at another business and spoke highly of his work. James was aware of Aaron and Raff’s reputation from their content on social media, so Flow State was already on his radar as a leading figure in the SaaS sales ecosystem. 

As a result, James got in touch with Flow State to arrange a discovery call. From that initial contact, it quickly became clear that they were the right team for the job. 

“Even that first discovery call gave me ideas to reflect upon,” says James. “They demonstrated immediate value by guiding us through those questions and probing what we were doing in a way that felt genuine. Since we were trying to train our team in these very techniques with our customers, that immediately made them stand out.”

Before committing to the full training programme, Zutec had four further discovery/planning sessions with Aaron and Raff — both over video calls and in person at the Zutec offices — to ensure Flow State fully understood the business’s needs and could deliver a programme that met those goals.

By the end of these consultations, Flow State presented a bespoke plan to introduce effective frameworks for more strategic enterprise-driven selling. 

Sessions designed to have an impact

The programme comprised four sessions delivered over three months, designed to give the sales team plenty of time to digest, use and refine the strategies they were learning.

James put the whole go-to-market team through that programme, regardless of experience, so that everyone had the same benchmark and the same exposure to knowledge needed to take that next step.

At the halfway point, James and Flow State conducted a review, adjusting the sessions as necessary to fill in any gaps and ensure participants got the most value. “At all times, it felt completely tailored to what we needed,” says James. “I felt listened to and that they were really thinking about what would make the most impact on our business.”

The sessions were full of discussions and collaborative exercises. For example, Flow State introduced the concept of developing a business case, working with the customer to craft the investment case to buy a particular solution.

After the session, the team went away to draft a business case before presenting it to the group to be constructively critiqued. The team wholeheartedly embraced the idea and it’s now become part of the standard operating procedures. 

Going beyond traditional sales training

The way Aaron and Raff delivered the content stood out to James, particularly the examples they used to illustrate key points.

“In these types of sessions, there’s a big difference between somebody reading a generic, cliched example from a book and somebody speaking with current, real-world examples that feel directly relevant. It felt fresh.”

Outside the planned sessions, Flow State was on hand to deliver additional support and resources as needed, including a Slack channel for on-demand coaching. 

“One of the guys in the team struggled with cold calling,” recalls James. “Raff spent four hours with him, shadowing him and giving him personalised guidance, even though that wasn’t part of the programme’s scope. I can’t imagine any other company being willing to do that. The sales rep really appreciated it and we noticed a positive change in him as a result.” 

Quantifiable results on sales

For James, the sales enablement was exactly what the team needed. The sales pipeline is now more consistent and predictable. Before the engagement, about ⅓ of revenue came from existing customers, with ⅔ from new customers. Since then, the company has successfully pivoted and now 80% of revenue comes from existing customers

“This whole programme served as a catalyst,” says James, “not just in implementing the direct content that was delivered, but evolving our thinking in related areas. The team has seen the value of the assets at their disposal and ran with it. You can see the tools being used and adopted throughout the team, both in terms of the managers managing their team and then the individual contributors running their pipeline.”

Looking back at the original goal of breaking into more enterprise clients, the sales team now has a better quality of discovery. They’ve learnt how to peel back the layers by asking deeper questions to isolate potential pain points and then translate that into a business case.

With the sales team’s hard work, the quarter in which the training programme was held was Zutec’s largest quarter on record

The future of sales at Zutec

James is now looking ahead, creating a three-year plan for further expansion within Zutec’s existing customer base. The company currently has a 20% market share, but fragmented over different areas. 

“We have twice the number of customers as our closest peers,” explains James, “so there’s unlikely to be a throng of new customers. Next time we speak to Aaron and Raff (and I’m sure there will be a next time), it’ll be to talk about improving that strategic account management discipline.” 

While there are plenty of generic sales training providers out there, James feels that Flow State excels at honing in on specific challenges and then using their knowledge and experience to build a tailored programme around that.

“For as long as it’s practical, Flow State is the only sales training company I plan to talk to,” says James. “I genuinely mean it. It’s by far and away the most well-rounded, impactful bang-on-the-money training that I’ve seen in my career. It was exceptionally good.”

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