Ben Timberley

Sales | Marketing | Commercial Strategy | Digital Infrastructure

Principal Consultant

BlackBook Consulting Founder

ABOUT ME

Hello I’m Ben, and I am the Principal Consultant behind the BlackBook, and the guy who came up with the idea.

I started out my career selling electricals in a well known high street retailer, a baptism of fire if ever there was one. I learnt the importance of good customer service, the need for researching your customers needs and wants, and the dangers of wholly unqualified management.

Since then, I’ve worked in a wide spread of different industries across my subject specialties, and have never looked back.

I know the world of business intimately now, which is why I’m offering my expertise and experience to you.

I help people build the tools, teams, processes and standards that define the ‘operations’ of a business. From brands, to content calendars, from pricing to margin management, from positioning to commercial agreements – they and more are all in my remit.

I also specialise in building the digital infrastructure required to manage all of this.

Think of me as an outsourced Commercial Director, helping you achieve sustainable growth.

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CONSULTANCY SERVICES

*Click on the topic (+) to expand on their detail.

Sales Consultancy

Building a sales function from the ground up or reformulating your existing sales function, I can help you build a team and the processes that go with it, to smash your sales objectives. Your organisations income depends on your ability to sell – don’t gamble with an unproven, untested sales function. I cover all sales functions including retail, field, phone and online.

What’s the difference between a poorly performing sales team, and a high performing sales team? Training. If you want your sales team to become infinitely stronger in less than three months (dependent on size), I can help. I bring my ENERGISE training to your organisation, implement a memorable, simple and effective selling style that will maximise your sales, and minimise your staff turnover.

If you’re not working smart, you’re not working profitably. Your sales team, and the rest of the business should not be in different worlds – especially when it comes to customer data, sales pipelines, prospecting and other crucial sales activities. You’re going to need processes, systems and tools to minimise the workload, maximised efficiency, and bring in MORE SALES. I can help you do this!

*If you’re seeking advice on E-Commerce Sales or Customer Service Systems, please look in the Digital Infrastructure section below.

Marketing Consultancy

The first step for ANY Marketing activity, is to answer the question “What are you?”. This question covers much more than you think – and it goes way beyond what your logo looks like, because that’s a logo, not a brand. You need to have a list of testable assumptions about your brand, what you think it should be, and what your customers and other stakeholders think it should be. Using my proven and well-tested brand design process, I can reveal your answers in only a few days.
If it’s written, spoken, filmed, recorded or artworked, it’s content – yes this includes advertising, pay per click and even the speech your director gives at the award ceremonies. Your organisation needs to be producing content, in large quantities, and at a great quality to win the Marketing game. This is a scary prospect for most organisations, because it’s a huge amount of work, and very easy to waste lots of money upon – which is why so many organisations avoid doing it. Do NOT avoid it. I can help you figure out what content to produce, how to produce it, and what to do with it when it’s ready.

SEO is a dark art that is constantly changing. You’ve got two options – do it yourself, or get someone else to do it for you. You CANNOT ignore it, it will never go away. If you’re not designing your website with SEO and CONTENT in mind, you’re doing it wrong. Talk to me about how I can help you get SEO right, without breaking the bank, and how you should be making decisions using SEO data at the board-level.

*If you’re seeking advice on any Digital Marketing system to enhance your business, please look in the Digital Infrastructure section below.

Strategic & Commercial Consultancy

If your organisation is asking this question, I can help you. I can provide an impartial, expert and external viewpoint on the future direction of your organisation, and where I think it should go.

Using the DIAGNOSE > SPECIFY > SOLVE > SUSTAIN process that is unique to BlackBook and my Associates, I can give you a full strategic work-up on what the details of the challenge are, what to do about them, what resources you’ll need, with a suggested timeline.

Working at Board or Senior Management Team Level, my standard working period in this exercise is between two and three months.

One of the biggest and most important questions, it decides whether your business lives or dies. Often, it is very hard for internal management teams and directors to understand why an organisation is struggling commercially – because they’re all too close. So is your accountant!

I can provide an in-depth analysis of your organisation, and help you understand what it is that is going wrong. I look at the picture in solid commercial numbers terms, and also through a holistic overview.

Working at Board or Senior Management Team Level, my standard working period in this exercise is between two and three months.

Time and time again, clients come to me who have failed to answer this question. It is fundamental to your business, and provides critical answers to decisions you often didn’t know you needed to ask.

I provide a thorough in-depth profile of your key competitors, their perceived strengths & weaknesses, and some insight into their possible directions. I also have a look and see what the market is putting up against you that you haven’t spotted yet…

Working at Board or Senior Management Team Level, my standard working period in this exercise is between one and two months.

You’re losing sleep over it. Your team are arguing about it. It’s causing headache after headache. That big decision you need to take should be an obvious choice. If it isn’t, let me help you make it BECOME an obvious choice.

Whatever the Strategic or Commercial decision you’re looking to make, I can help you weigh up the strategic argument properly.

Using the DIAGNOSE > SPECIFY > SOLVE > SUSTAIN process that is unique to BlackBook and my Associates, I can process the problem, and produce an in-depth report on the issue, along with a presentation for you to use to settle the dispute within your organisation once and for all.

Working at Board or Senior Management Team Level, my standard working period in this exercise is up to one month.

If the questions about the direction of the organisation are not clear already, and you need another voice around the table, I can help.

I have worked across most functions in business, and I understand much of how they all come together across the board table – along with the politics that inevitably travels with those functions.

If you want an impartial, expert and knowledgable voice around your board table, I can be that voice.

Digital Infrastructure Consultancy

Websites are your online home. If you want your customers and other stakeholders to think well of you, it’s got to be a good website. Would you let a builder design your house? Would you let an architect do your brick laying? Work with me as the architect for your website, and my tried and tested development partners to build you a website that gets it right first time.

E-Commerce can both save, and doom your business. It’s a hugely lucrative way to get more sales from customers via the internet. But if approached wrongly (not just in technical terms) it can cost you a fortune, and dump you in the red. Whether it’s building a new e-commerce function, or redesigning an existing function, I have huge experience in doing both and I can help you.

Marketing can be a massive timesuck, expensive, frustrating and deeply confusing. Unless you invest in it, and plan ahead that is. One of the best ways to increase your return on investment, and minimise your outlay, is to use a Marketing Automation system like Hubspot, Sharpspring or Mailchimp. Implementing these tools, and using them sustainably going forwards is a specialist field. Luckily, I’ve done it all before many times – so I can help you do it right too!

CRM Systems are a big deal. They quickly become the heart of your business, containing the data and customer insights you depend upon to make crucial strategic decisions. Not to mention the huge improvements in Customer Service they can deliver.

But with that value, comes challenges in designing, implementing and using sustainably these systems. So what do you do? Pay an agency with vested interests (and biscuits to fund) to advise you?

No. I can help you make the crucial decisions about CRM’s and how to get the best out of them.

The single biggest barrier to business improvement that I have ever seen, on a consistent basis, are ERP systems. Usually initiated as a hugely bloated, expensive and badly planned pet project by a Director, Accountant or IT manager, these systems can hold entire organisations to ransom through the simple to understand concept of “computer says NO!”

Inflexible. Difficult to use. Disappointing. A waste of money. A result of a ‘hard sell’.

None of these are things you should be saying about a system that can easily cost you hundreds of thousands, yet, they can be worth millions in terms of the value they add if implemented correctly.

I have solid experience of getting these systems right. Talk to me about helping you get them right as well.

If the questions about the direction of the organisation are not clear already, and you need another voice around the table, I can help.

I have worked across most functions in business, and I understand much of how they all come together across the board table – along with the politics that inevitably travels with those functions.

If you want an impartial, expert and knowledgable voice around your board table, I can be that voice.

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LATEST BLOGS FROM THIS CONSULTANT

A 2021 Guide To Digital E-Commerce Infrastructure

By |August 6th, 2020|Associate Blogs, Ben Timberley|

E-Commerce Infrastructure Explained Welcome to the BlackBook Consulting guide to E-Commerce Infrastructure for 2021. This guide will spell out in (relatively) simple language and concepts how you can build a fully-fledged e-commerce infrastructure for the online side of your business. It will help you avoid expensive, […]