When a company’s sales performance lags, executives may not know exactly how to attack the problem. A diagnostic “X-ray” of commercial capabilities allows sales leaders to gauge their performance against competitors in their industry and—importantly—companies outside their industry, but with a similar go-to-market model. One industrial manufacturer benchmarked its performance on capabilities and found two areas where it could improve. The first consisted of issues that it already had begun to address. The second area included blind spots where executives had thought the organization was effective, but actually underperformed relative to peers. These blind spots needed urgent attention, so the company piloted several changes for a few key accounts. Soon, the pilot accounts saw a 30% increase in the value of opportunities added to the pipeline and expected to close over the following year. Moreover, employees have been energized by the renewed focus on helping them succeed.
Jonathan Frick, Jason McLinn and Mark Kovac are partners with Bain & Company’s Customer Strategy & Marketing practice, and Mark leads the firm’s B2B Commercial Excellence group. Chris Dent is an expert principal with the practice.