The Explorer Study | Charting the Course to High-Impact Sales Effectiveness Investments

Torsten Bernewitz and Namita Kalyan

To quantify and better understand the impact of sales force effectiveness (SFE) initiatives, ZS launched the Explorer Study to answer the elusive question, “What is the impact of investing in SFE initiatives?” Through this research, we mapped the potential benefits available to companies from investing in SFE initiatives. Investing in just one SFE initiative can improve performance metrics, such as revenue, by 4 to 8 percent, on average. However, importantly, investing programmatically across a series of SFE categories can yield even more impressive results – averages of 9 to 10 percent and up to 20 to 30 percent.

In terms of ROI, the numbers are compelling. For example, consider a company with annual sales of $1.5 billion that invests $3 million on an SFE transformation. A boost in revenue of 8% translates to an incremental ROI of more than 1,400% in the first year (assuming 35% gross margins). Even a smaller, incremental revenue increase of only 1% equates to a one-year return of 175%. The bottom line: Companies that don’t invest in SFE are likely leaving money on the table.