Restructuring Sales for Merged Organizations in Consumer Products
This company planned to combine two divisions and needed external support to analyze the best sales strategy and structure going forward. At the time, each of these divisions had their own dedicated sales team (direct and indirect) calling on many of the same customers. By combining divisions, they believed they could gain efficiencies, both internally and externally, with their customer base.
The central question was whether the sales teams could be integrated such that one sales person could sell the “full bag” of products to a single customer. Secondarily, the company sought direction on adding a channel/trade marketing function to act as the intermediary between sales and marketing, taking on some of sales’ current responsibilities. This would allow the sales team to focus on customers and free-up marketing to focus on products.
Symmetrics Group Approach
Through quantitative and qualitative analysis comprised of 60+ interviews, Symmetrics Group worked with this client on the following:
- Customer Analysis: We analyzed the current customer base and how the customers buy the products/categories (e.g., single or multiple category managers), as well as reviewed the remaining potential in the relevant categories and the overall customer base.
- Sales Force Productivity: We determined the current level of sales productivity and time spent and assessed the capability of the sales team to sell additional solutions (e.g., category and product knowledge required, additional selling time/sales calls). During our qualitative interviews, we uncovered existing and potential challenges to optimizing effectiveness.
- Go-to-Market and Sales Force Structure: We reviewed the current sales structure and go-to-market strategy, looking at reporting relationships, span of control, and number of headcount overall.
- Recommendations: Throughout the process, we worked with leadership to evaluate options and develop the recommended go-forward sales strategy and structure.
Our final recommendation included maintaining separate bags at the field level for the near-term, but integrating the responsibilities at the Director-level and above. Further consolidation at the field level was a future possibility.
We also recommended creating a Customer Development Organization that would report under Sales, separating customer and consumer-focused marketing activities.
Since the company tended to spend significant time and effort on one of the sales teams in particular, we created specific recommendations for improvements to either harvest for headcount reallocation, or fill open headcount and make other operational changes to position this team for growth.
During the change effort, we recommended employing a comprehensive communication plan, clarifying roles and responsibilities, and reviewing and mending broken, cumbersome internal processes. Finally, we recommended stay bonuses for select key individuals critical to the SVP’s organization.
Symmetrics Group dug into our business, quickly understood it, and then guided us through a methodical approach to define what we needed to be. Critically, they challenged us all along the way – asking tough questions and making us stop many times about what and how we were approaching our business.
VP of Sales
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