It Pays To Think Differently

This year, durhamlane turned five years old. In this short time the highly driven team has supported numerous companies in various sectors to achieve their revenue goals and it has proven its successful business approach by achieving double digit growth year on year.

Meet the co-founders Richard Lane and Lee Durham, to find out what it takes to create such outstanding growth…


Q: Richard and Lee, please briefly explain the purpose behind durhamlane:

Richard: We help people and organisations to develop and grow their sales, profits and revenues in a sustained manner. At our core we have a passion to raise the bar of the sales profession. We want sales to be seen as the true profession we know it to be and we help others to be more confident in their approach to selling.

Lee: Our core business is sales training & coaching and outsourced sales, but durhamlane keeps diversifying. Our recruitment arm for sales graduates and experienced hires is rapidly growing and fits perfectly into the business’s ambitions. Clients get access to the vast network of sales talent we have built over the years, and with our blended training, fresh hires can get prepared for a new challenge, and get a foot onto the career ladder. In addition we help organisations get ready and steady for growth via our business transformation and leadership programmes.

Q: You founded durhamlane 5 years ago, how did you come up with the idea to set up a business together?

Lee: We both had our own one-man business at that time. Richard was an independent sales trainer and coach and I provided sales strategy and outsourced sales. We then met at one of Richard’s training sessions. When we talked to each other we realised that both of us were striving for something more meaningful, something that would last longer than us.

Richard: Together we had over 40 years of commercial sales experience and we owned businesses that would complement each others. Not much later, on the 1st of April 2011, we brought the two businesses together as durhamlane.

Q: You are growing at a double-digit rate every year, how can you explain this success?

Lee: Our approach is unique. The different divisions allow us to support growth across multiple strategies and our clients benefit from a blended service at any point of the sales process and development stage. So I think it is the multiple service offer and the way we deliver that allows us to grow exponentially.

Richard: Our model is proven to be successful. We set-up our business in the recession. Lee and I have always thought, if you can’t grow a sales business when times are hard, then you probably can’t grow at all. Now as people look to grow and expand we have the business ready to drive forwards. During the first two years it took a while for us to understand how we work and operate most effectively, but since then the company has exploded. Over the years our processes have become more defined; for example, we now know how to onboard clients efficiently and effectively and we pride ourselves on delivering results fast. It is in our nature to strive to overdeliver every time.

Q: What are your greatest achievements?

Richard: We have built a great business and a great brand in 5 years. You can’t build a great business without excellent people and we have built an outstanding team with a broad array of strengths creating great success for our customers and for durhamlane. A source of pride are the positive comments we receive from people who adapt our Selling at a Higher Level methodology and understand how it works for them. Recently, we received this comment from an experienced sales professional: «durhamlane’s sales training is training for the year 2016 – it is fast, agile and encourages you to think differently».

Lee: It’s a proud moment when I look at our client base. We started out working with lots of local SME businesses, which is very rewarding and we continue to do that. But over the last couple of years we have picked up some very big, well-known brands, the likes as Symantec/Veritas, HP, Northumbrian Water, Sage and British Gas and many others.

Q: What is your mission for the upcoming year and how do you intend to reach these goals?

Lee: The exciting thing for this year is taking our proven, robust methodology and model of operating and expanding into other markets, such as Australia and New Zealand. While we have high growth ambitions, our core values sit at the heart of what we do, and that has never changed.

Richard: We are developing a leadership team within durhamlane. We give more responsibility to our highly motivated staff members and we give them the opportunity to achieve their personal ambitions. We continue to invest in sales tools that help us to work better and faster and support our clients to be more innovative. We are making our training content more accessible, delivering it online, in person or both so that it sticks and helps sales people to think differently and increase their success.

Q: Please describe each other in a few sentences.

Lee: Our company would not be as successful as it is today were it not for our unique partnership. Richard is reflective, honest, dedicated and driven. We are different in many ways, but that’s what makes us a very powerful team. And we continue hiring and retaining great people with complementary talents.

Richard: Lee is very focused, passionate and has a fantastic attention to detail. He is always pushing for the next thing and I make sure we are delivering. Although we approach things from a slightly different angle, at core we are both driving the same way and we always end up meeting at the same point when it comes to decision making.

Richard and Lee can look back to a prosperous time at durhamlane,

but more importantly they want to look forward and create great success stories with their clients.

Don’t be shy, connect with them on LinkedIn

Connect with Richard

Connect with Lee