How organizations are taking a holistic approach to growth via commercial effectiveness


A Formula One (F1) race, with its signature blend of thrilling highs and catastrophic lows, also has on display the ultimate model of efficiency and collaboration: the pit crew. To secure victory, a pit crew must work together to make sure that several moving parts of a racecar are functioning properly, diagnosing any potential hazards and swiftly adapting to change in fractions of a second.

Commercial effectiveness has a lot in common with F1. As pit crew mechanics must inspect all parts of the car, sales and marketing professionals must also holistically diagnose their business to improve overall commercial effectiveness and drive growth in today’s fast moving and competitive market. The effort is well worth it. According to a recent ZS study, when companies invest in a broader transformation across several commercial drivers, they improve their performance by 9% on average, and companies that do it well can improve their performance by as much as 20%.

The three best practices for taking a holistic approach to organizational transformation are:

  • Evaluate current commercial activities to determine root causes and improvement opportunities.
  • Prioritize opportunities by estimating potential ROI.
  • Develop charters with cross-functional teams and defined milestones.

About the Experts

Rodolfo Luzardo is a Principal in ZS’s Chicago office. Rodolfo leads the firm’s Private Equity space and is a leader in the Commercial Strategy & Transformation practice. He leads clients through complex initiatives focused on delivering impact where it matters most. With more than 20 years of professional experience in finance, operations and consulting, Rodolfo has been advising the world's premier companies over the past decade, and has first-hand operating and sales experience. His expertise is in B-to-B sales and marketing strategy and effectiveness, with a focus on large-scale commercial transformations relating to go-to-market strategy, merger integration, sales and marketing effectiveness and pricing optimization. Rodolfo has broad industry exposure spanning specialty chemical, industrial, basic materials, business services, technology, and distribution. He lectures on sales strategy topics at the Kellogg School of Management Executive Program, and has published numerous articles and white papers on sales force performance, strategic account management and commercial transformation.

Marshall Solem is a Principal in ZS’s Evanston office. Marshall’s focus is in the sales business area and he leads several key client relationships. His client work has particular emphasis on changing sales models and how to retool go-to-market strategies and company competencies to compete effectively in the rapidly changing market. A recognized authority on sales management, Marshall has consulted with companies from the Fortune 50 to startups, in industries spanning healthcare and life sciences, chemicals, consumer products, financial services, construction/building products and utilities. Marshall also serves as an adjunct faculty member at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Samir Bhatiani is a Manager in ZS’s Chicago office. Samir brings more than 10 years of consulting experience to the role and has extensive commercial capabilities with a particular focus on driving customer-centric growth via sales and marketing effectiveness. His expertise enables him to help clients solve issues relating to customer segmentation, market offering/value proposition delivery, shopper journey mapping and sales model design. Before joining ZS in 2015, Samir worked as a Consulting Manager at a Marketing Strategy and Customer Insights practice. There, his projects focused on developing customer segmentations and leveraging them as tools to create improved engagement strategies. He also spent five years as a Strategy Consulting Generalist, working mostly within Financial Services and Consumer Goods. Samir holds an MBA from the Ross School of Business at University of Michigan and a B.S.B.A. from Georgetown University.