Charting the Course to High-Impact Sales Effectiveness Investments

Marshall Solem, Torsten Bernewitz, Rodolfo Luzardo, Namita Kalyan, Eric Scott


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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. Importantly, investing programmatically across a series of SFE categories can yield impressive results – from 9 to 10 percent. However, investing in just one SFE initiative can improve performance metrics, such as revenue or profitability by as much as 8%.

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.

Download “Charting the Course to High-Impact Sales Effectiveness Investments” and learn how investing in SFE initiatives can drive profitable growth for your organization.

About the Experts

Marshall Solem is a Principal based in ZS’s Evanston, Ill., office. Marshall is the former leader of the firm’s global Sales Solutions Practice and also spent five years leading the company’s Midwest region with 225 consulting professionals. Marshall’s client work is focused on helping companies improve commercial effectiveness through development of world-class go-to-market strategies. Marshall also helps clients to implement the new sales strategies by providing guidance on territory design, talent management, incentive compensation design, sales force effectiveness and commercial analytics.

Torsten Bernewitz is a Principal based in ZS’s Princeton, N.J., office. Torsten has close to 30 years of experience as a management consultant and in business leadership roles. He leads the Global Change Management Practice and has worked predominantly with Fortune 500 companies—and their affiliates in the United States, Europe, South America and the Far East—helping them transform their selling organizations to achieve faster growth and superior execution. His experience also includes sales and marketing roles with IBM and work for the Commission of the European Union in Brussels.

Rodolfo Luzardo is a Principal based in ZS’s Chicago office. Rodolfo has extensive experience advising companies across industries and geographies. Rodolfo’s expertise is in B2B sales and marketing strategy and effectiveness, with a focus on large-scale commercial transformations relating to go-to-market strategy, sales effectiveness initiatives and integrations, and pricing optimization. Rodolfo’s experience spans a diverse range of commercial topics, including multiple sales models, go-to-market redesign and pricing. He has broad industry exposure spanning specialty chemical, industrial, basic materials, distribution, retail and private equity.

Namita Kalyan is an Associate Principal based in ZS’s Philadelphia office. She is the global lead for the Sales Force Effectiveness Practice and her focus has been in sales force strategy, design, and effectiveness. She has worked with Fortune 100 companies to evaluate and improve sales manager and rep effectiveness, including multi-country sales force training.

Eric Scott is a Manager based in ZS’s Toronto office. Eric focuses on broad sales and marketing issues across Canada and the Americas. Eric is a member of the firm’s Sales Force Effectiveness Practice as well as a leader in Medical Affairs Strategy and Commercial Organizational Design. He has helped many clients with maximizing go-to-market strategies through market insight and sales strategy, forecasting and opportunity assessments, sales operations and incentives, and business technology and business sales automation.