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Despite healthy revenue growth and product portfolio expansion, TechCo* had a problem: sales and marketing expenses were rising faster than anything else. The salesforce had become bloated, and roles were murky due to new layers of product specialists and channel partners who often duplicated the efforts of the primary salesforce.
Meanwhile, as the complexity of the product portfolio grew, some critical capabilities appeared to be missing. For one, sellers struggled to get the training and information they needed when new products came to market, crimping their ability to sell. For these and other reasons, Bain analysis helped reveal that sellers spent less than 25% of their time in front of customers, dragging down sales productivity.
High spending and poor results meant the company needed to make some immediate changes to the sales organization to improve its productivity. At the same time, it needed to take a step back and look at how the organization could better support sellers in a fast-paced and ever-evolving environment.
Sales enablement efforts can turn unproductive time into selling time, moving TechCo closer to benchmark:
As part of a large multi-phase effort over multiple years, Bain's first step was to take stock of what the company already had in place. Our experts:
- Collected data and interviewed dozens of leaders and frontline employees to understand issues and opportunities throughout sales, marketing and other teams involved with the sales force.
- Analyzed the total cost to sell, including specialists and channel partners, as well as the costs attributable to each of those components individually.
- Identified the best and most relevant sales enablement practices within and outside the organization given TechCo's unique and specific challenges.
Facts in hand, we worked with TechCo to develop a strategy to restructure the salesforce that would better balance the cost of each selling component with the revenue opportunities it presented. We also looked at ways to improve the sales preparation process, from organizational design to collateral production processes.
Working alongside the team at TechCo, we developed the following recommendations on their core challenges:
The joint efforts of our experts and TechCo's team resulted in a simplified company structure, lowered costs and it also afforded sellers more time with customers. Together, we:
- Implemented significant productivity improvements, increased customer-facing selling time by 33% and improved time to revenue.
- Reduced overall costs by 10% over initial baseline and saved more than $25M in non-sales and marketing costs.
- Realized more than $20 million in actual savings by changing partner economics and created the potential for $250 million in incremental bookings.
- Improved seller experience with streamlined enablement organization and better collateral.
* We take our clients' confidentiality seriously. While we've changed their names, the results are real.