Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (432)

Robert Troy


432. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation her views on a recommendation in a report (details supplied). [31129/19]

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Written answers (Question to Business)

My colleague, the Minister for Education and Skills leads on skills development in the economy and works closely with a range of stakeholders across Government, industry and the education and training sector to ensure the availability of relevant talent and skills, which is a key enabler of enterprise, especially SMEs, productivity and innovation.  

Regarding the sales supports provided through my Department to SMEs, some of the marketing supports and training available from Enterprise Ireland (EI) and the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) for their clients are outlined as follows. 

EI provides a range of supports tailored to meet the requirements of its client companies including the following programmes tailored for the sales and marketing area:

- The International Selling Programme is targeted exclusively at maximising export sales for ambitious Irish SMEs. The programme aims to deliver an international sales plan based on a combination of sales methodologies, skills-based learning, in-company assignments and access to a panel of experienced sales experts and business advisors.

- The Excel at Export Selling workshops are aimed at rapidly embedding the proven tools of best international selling practice into Irish companies across all industry sectors who are looking to upskill for export growth and want access to selling skills development.

- The Go Global 4 Growth programme is targeted at ambitious top teams from all sectors, committed to adapting and evolving their business functions to prepare for global growth and incorporates modules including Strategic Sales and Marketing.

- EI’s Strategic Marketing Review is designed to bring structure and focus to a company’s marketing operations through a diagnostic framework.  The programme assists the management of Irish exporting companies to develop a strategic planning framework to achieve sales growth.

EI also provides supports such as the Market Research Centre and its network of International offices to support client companies to address and develop their sales and marketing skills.

The LEOs provide a wide range of high-quality soft supports tailored to meet specific business requirements. LEOs recognise the importance of sales and marketing capability development and across the network run courses such as:

- Sales and marketing for Business Growth

- Essential Steps to Achieving More Sales

- The Art of Successful Tendering

- Promoting Your Business Using Social Media

- Developing an Effective E-mail Marketing Campaign

- Digital Marketing

- Improving your digital strategy through social media management.

These courses give participants an insight into the various elements of sales and marketing including sales process management, prospecting and evaluating leads, essential sales skills, promoting a business, pricing from a marketing perspective, the integration of online and offline marketing, target marketing and customer segmentation, USP identification, customer identification, direct marketing, and essential skills of customer service.

The LEOs also deliver the Trading Online Voucher which offers financial assistance of up to €2,500 along with training and advice to help business trade online.  It is a prerequisite of the scheme that any business applying for a voucher completes an information session covering various topics, including developing a website, digital marketing, social media for business and search engine optimisation.