A European networked visualization products technology manufacturer experienced several years of steady growth, reaching well over $1B in annual turnover, driven primarily from the success in their core market. The company took great pride in the quality of its technology, its robust investment in R&D and its track record of innovation. As the market for their core products began to mature and competition increased, growth slowed and then stalled. The company experienced its first year of decline in more than five years. The leadership believed driving incremental growth required more customer focus. Over the years the sales force had grown gradually through acquisition and local hiring and was organized by product divisions and geographies. While the sales force was several hundred strong, there were nearly an equal number of different roles, no consistent sales process, and very little investment in sales enablement. The combination of heavy investments in R&D and careful management of sales costs had left the sales organization under-resourced and ill-equipped to drive growth.
Recognizing the need to improve sales, the leadership, beginning with the CEO, decided to evaluate current sales productivity and investments. They sought to answer several questions including 1) how did their sales organization stack up against the competition and the market? 2) Did they have the right sales strategy and structure to support their growth plans? 3) What changes and investments were needed to improve?
The company hired the Alexander Group to conduct a comprehensive global assessment and develop a roadmap to bring the sales organization up to market and best practice. Using the Revenue Growth Model as a primary framework, Alexander Group evaluated the company’s sales strategy, structure and management. The assessment entailed interviews with customers, partners, leadership and individuals across the global sales force. Alexander Group further analyzed and benchmarked the company’s sales across product divisions and geographies as well as against industry benchmarks to highlight areas for improvement. Based on the assessment findings and a well-rounded understanding of sales best practices for their industry, Alexander Group created a holistic roadmap to transform the sales force over a two-year period. The roadmap included details on sales strategy, structure, roles, process, territories, quotas and compensation.
The company immediately began implementing certain aspects of the roadmap, including a standardized sales process, a new metrics dashboard, new approach for account and territory planning, as well as a cross-functional and inter-disciplinary initiative to align sales needs and priorities with the product, marketing, finance and operations teams. The changes had an immediate impact on sales force morale and helped the company return to double digit growth that year.