Dry Powder: The Private Equity Podcast

Sales Excellence: The Sprint

A few enterprising PE firms are growing the top line, fast. Bain Partner Mark Kovac reveals how they sprint to returns.


Sales Excellence: The Sprint

A decade ago, as the Great Recession hit, PE firms began to sharpen their cost-cutting skills. Since then, costs have been underwritten pretty consistently by just about the entire industry.

With the most obvious cost-cutting opportunities already baked into their bottom lines, and the possibility of a recession on the horizon, a few leading firms have turned their attention from the bottom line to the top line.

I asked Mark Kovac, who leads Bain’s B2B Commercial Excellence group, to join me on the latest episode of Dry Powder to discuss sales excellence.

“Markets evolve, they move,” Mark says, “but companies don't always really rethink: Where are they putting their sales reps? What is the nature and the composition of the sales team, and where are they pointing it?”

That’s especially true of slow-growing, middle-market companies in the B2B sector. Peek under the hood of their sales operations, and you may find enough overlooked growth opportunities to win your deal.

“I've seen firms really up their game over the last three to four years,” Mark says. “There are some firms, who you’d think of as really knuckle-dragging cost guys, who have ‘gotten religion,’ if you will.”

In part one of our two-part interview on sales excellence, Mark and I discuss how to spot opportunities for top-line growth from the outside in, and how some firms can sprint to returns in a matter of months.

We also consider how advanced analytics is helping PE firms point sales teams to the most valuable customers, and offer products and price points that customers really want.


The Private Equity Podcast

In our podcast series, Bain's Hugh MacArthur interviews leading experts on the trends and opportunities that will redefine the private equity industry.

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