Arctic Shores Case Study

Arctic Shores

Arctic Shores

Resetting the sales team with an interim sales leader

How a ScaleWise interim sales leader restored confidence and results to Arctic Shores’ sales team over a six month period.

Business type


Solution type

Interim & Fractional

Size of commercial team


Company stage

Series A

Founded in 2013, Arctic Shores was set up to help companies ‘see more in people’ by focusing on potential and capabilities rather than past experience or aptitude in traditional intelligence tests; both of which disadvantaged certain groups of society. A champion of social mobility, UK-based Arctic Shores used gamification and neuroscience to create Europe’s first behaviour-based recruitment assessment, which has now been used by 150+ companies in over 50 countries, such as Siemens, Axa and PwC.

Arctic Shores Need

From start-up to scale-up. Arctic Shores has grown rapidly since its inception in 2013, currently employing over 70 staff and making Deloitte’s list of the 50 fastest-growing UK-based tech companies in 2020. However, like many scaling companies, Arctic Shoes has also experienced growing pains.


As Arctic Shores tried to shift its mentality and processes towards the scaling end of the spectrum, its sales growth took a hit in the first quarter of 2021. Arctic Shores CEO and co-founder, Robert Newry, was keen to bring in extra resource to address the dip and help with the transition, but instead of rushing an important CRO hire, he sought an interim solution first. In particular, Arctic Shores wanted a seasoned sales leader that could be parachuted in quickly, mentor the sales team and improve sales performance in the time taken to find a suitable CRO. They turned to ScaleWise.

ScaleWise Impact

Robert Newry interviewed three candidates put forward by Gavin (and also put them through the Arctic Shores behavioural assessment) and decided to hire Margo Hayward as a sales lead three days per week (over an eventual six months). Margo has over 21 years of experience in technology sales and business leadership, she quickly used this wealth of knowledge to deliver the following key impacts:

1. Restored sales team’s confidence

Off the back of missing their Q1 sales targets, Arctic Shores knew the importance of restoring confidence to the sales team. Straight away, Margo reminded the 7-strong sales team of their capability and potential. Focusing on the basics of the company’s amazing approach and widespread benefits, Margo used her optimism, energy and get-things-done mentality to instill the belief among sales reps that there was no reason why they shouldn’t be successful.

2. Renewed sales team’s focus

The sales team’s focus had blurred while scaling into new territory, but Margo quickly put a structure in place enabling the sales department to reset. Not only did she implement a sales success routine and cadence back into the team, but she also created a six month reset plan and channeled the sales team’s focus with her ‘4P’ methodology: people, process, proposition and performance.

3. Reinitiated cross-team alignment

As a result of missing its Q1 targets, the Arctic Shores sales team had slipped into a bunker mentality and was feeling separated from the rest of the company. Margo worked hard to boost interdepartmental collaboration and by working closely with the CMO and Chief Customer Officer – showing them how sales needed their help – she rallied the rest of senior leadership to support her team in delivering sales.

4. Boosted sales growth by 100%

Coming in at the start of Q2, Margo inherited a similar run rate to Q1 and quickly set to work to alter the sales trajectory. By Q3, after implementing a new focus, revising the sales structure and restoring confidence, Margo’s revamped sales team hit their revised targets and increased the run rate by 100% from Q2. The same momentum is set to continue for Q4.

5. Prioritised key actions

Instead of acting as a direct replacement for a full-time Head of Sales, hiring a Sales Lead for three days per week ensured Margo’s time was used to full effect. For example, Margo was not required to attend non-sales focused meetings or product reviews, but instead fully focused on the areas that had the most impact. This streamlined drive enabled Arctic Shoes to get the most out of Margo’s time and deliver the greatest impact in the time period.

Describing her time with Arctic Shores, Margo said: “Working with the team at Arctic Shores was a joy, the team are capable and motivated to succeed. With the support of the Senior Leadership we were able to put a plan in place that made an instant impact to the sales performance by identifying clear focus areas that from my extensive experience I knew would lead to better results.”

Robert Newry

Robert Newry

CEO and Co-Founder, Arctic Shores

“You wouldn’t have known this was Margo’s first interim role: she was absolutely brilliant. There is a large spectrum of people who could do interim or fractional roles, but only a few that fit in the sweet spot overlap of the three critical areas that I was looking for. Credit to ScaleWise for not only having the breadth of sales leaders to choose from, but for working closely with me, having the right processes and asking the right questions to make sure we got the best match possible. To top the experience off, the handover to the new CRO has been well-thought through and structured. I am very happy with the overall results and collaboration.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Think of it as head-renting instead of head-hunting. Rather than spending time and money trying to hire a full-time leader, Interim & Fractional leadership involves hiring leaders on either a short-term or part-time basis usually to carry out a specific purpose. They are experienced senior-level operators that can be parachuted into your company on short notice to drive high-performance in particular aspects of your business.

Unlike a coach or a consultant, Interim & Fractional leaders are hands-on doers whose remit is to get stuck in and get things done. For more information, check out our: Definitive guide to Interim & Fractional Leadership.

Interim & Fractional leaders both provide flexible GTM support based on your specific needs. Interim leaders usually work full-time (4-5 days per week) for a set period of time (i.e. 4-6 months) to bridge an ‘interim’ leadership gap. Fractional leaders work a fraction of the time for a fraction of the cost, usually working between 2–4 days per week on a rolling basis. As Interim & Fractional leaders flexibly work between both roles depending on the requirement, we consider them as one leadership solution.
We’ll help you define what you need and produce a detailed role brief with realistic goals. This goes beyond a job description, capturing the specific leader profile required and clear deliverables. Then we’ll produce a shortlist of suitable candidates (based on your needs, culture and leadership style) from our wide network of experienced Interim & Fractional commercial leaders. Finally, we’ll organise interviews to ensure there’s a cultural chemistry and expertise alignment from the outset.

At ScaleWise, all our Interim & Fractional leaders have scaled at least one company (Seed to Series C) in senior GTM roles, usually at VP or C-Suite level in sales, marketing, customer success, partnerships or revenue operations (RevOps). Many have worked with other scale-ups in Interim & Fractional roles too. As such, they’re adept at quickly diagnosing issues, prioritising solutions and having an immediate impact.

Instead of joining with a wide-ranging brief, Interim & Fractional leaders focus on pre-agreed objectives. During the engagement, they will implement and execute a pre-agreed plan, so it’s crucial to agree on these objectives, deadlines and KPIs beforehand. Interim & Fractional leaders can also help interview and onboard their permanent replacement, ensuring they hit the ground running.

For example, the five most common tasks for an Interim & Fractional VP of Sales include restructuring the sales process, devising a coherent commercial strategy with company-wide buy-in, improving sales team performance and advising on sales hires (i.e. SDRs, AEs or even their full-time replacement).

Unlike full-time hiring (which can take up to 6 months), Interim & Fractional leaders are placed within 1–4 weeks and can have an immediate impact. This short time frame is possible thanks to ScaleWise’s unrivalled network of GTM leaders and the idiosyncrasies of the Interim & Fractional model (i.e. they don’t need company-wide onboarding and can dive into pre-agreed tasks straight away).

ScaleWise’s matching process vastly minimises the risk of a bad partnership. However, if the Interim & Fractional leader is not working out, it’s easy to terminate the relationship as there’s no long-term contract (you take out a month-by-month contract with ScaleWise, not the leader).

At ScaleWise, we find the reverse is usually true. Companies either hire their Interim & Fractional leader full-time (this happens in 35% of cases at ScaleWise) or they decide they no longer need support in one area (i.e. sales) and want support in another area (i.e. marketing). With ScaleWise, moving from an Interim & Fractional sales leader to an Interim & Fractional marketing leader is simple.

Interim & Fractional leaders are not hands-off consultants, but highly-experienced commercial leaders who join with a clear mandate and instantly command respect from the team due to their previous experience. Employees respond well to their ‘external’ status as it doesn’t disrupt the internal team dynamic (and avoids office politics) and enables them to objectively make swift strategic decisions (not decisions based on bias or nostalgia).


However, it’s important for the leadership team to support the Interim & Fractional leader and make it clear to employees that they have the authority to make changes (it helps if an internal leader introduces an Interim & Fractional leader to all the key divisions within the business at the start).

Our Interim & Fractional leaders turn into permanent employees every 1 in 3 placements. If you’re looking for a leader that will eventually transition to full-time, it’s worth being upfront about this in the matching stage.

Interim & Fractional leaders placed through ScaleWise are contracted to ScaleWise, not your company. That means we can place them quickly and easily without you needing to negotiate payment terms or waste any time setting up contracts and billing relationships with lots of different leaders. It also makes it easier to change GTM support if required (i.e. using an Interim & Fractional Customer Success leader after working with an Interim & Fractional CMO).

Unlike a coach or a consultant, Interim & Fractional leaders are hands-on doers who get stuck in and get things done. At the outset, they will agree working schedules, practices and processes with you, including days of the week, communication channels, check-ins and access to the wider team.


For example, a leader might work part-time (i.e. three days’ work spread out across the week to ensure responsiveness to company needs) in a hybrid capacity for a few companies concurrently. No matter the working agreement, though, it’s crucial to schedule frequent catch-ups (i.e. one hour per week) to discuss updates, barriers and progress.

Interim & Fractional leaders are scaling professionals. To get roles, they need a strong catalogue of past successes, positive case studies of their previous Interim & Fractional work, and supportive references. As such, they always commit to the role whole-heartedly.


Yet, more importantly, they are motivated by enjoyment. They have often chosen a portfolio career as they love taking on new challenges and sharing their insights to help companies grow, so the more fulfilling the role, the more the Interim & Fractional leader will go above and beyond.

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