Business Services Provider Drives Growth Through Sales Strategy

The Problem

A leading provider of outsourced business services was looking to drive sales growth in an increasingly competitive market. Revenue growth slowed, even as the company added sales resources. The company had experimented with telesales and other channels, but it struggled to find a strategy that would improve sales results at a reasonable cost. In addition, while the company had invested heavily in its SFA system, it was unable to translate this into useful information to guide sales resource decisions.

The Solutions

ZS collaborated with the client to design and implement a new sales strategy aimed at driving profitable growth in several key customer segments. Elements of the solution included:

  • Opportunity estimation for each customer and prospect, including a methodology that was internalized by the client;
  • Creation of specialized selling roles for high-value accounts that would benefit most from sales expertise;
  • Creation of generalist and telesales roles, for lower-value and remote accounts where sales efficiency was paramount;
  • Sales territory design, with a hands-on rollout of the solution to the entire sales management team (more than 200 people).

The work was inherently disruptive—it involved changing customer relationships—so the implementation process included substantial iteration with senior leadership and sales management. Ultimately, field sales managers made the final decisions with ZS’s support and guidance.

The Results

In the year following the work, the company experienced revenue growth of 8% (compared with 0% the prior year), and operating income rose by a similar amount. Among the key drivers were:

  • The company was able to contact accounts 10% more often with the same number of total sales resources
  • The company was able to drive accelerated growth among high-value accounts, which it targeted with increased numbers of specialist salespeople

Plus, the company internalized the solution for ongoing use—as the vice president of sales operations noted, “Our sales managers really understand the opportunity measures and use them to guide the territory design. The areas where we made the biggest change [to the sales deployment] have seen the greatest improvement .”