McKinsey’s Sales & Channel Management group helps clients master multichannel for sales excellence in two ways: by improving the effectiveness of their sales investments and interactions with customers; and by simultaneously driving for efficiency in all channels (e.g., face-to-face sales force, inside sales, third-party channel partners) and the associated back office/sales operations.
Our approach to sales transformations encompasses how and to whom companies sell their products and services, the channels they use, and the back-office operations that support these efforts. Where necessary and appropriate, we also help clients address specific challenges in their go-to-market strategy, sales-force effectiveness, key-account management, and other relevant areas. Our team consists of more than 65 partners and associate partners, and a broader affiliated group of more than 150 senior practitioners worldwide.
What we do
Our approach extends from quick targeted interventions that unlock value (e.g., improving a client’s key-account management program) to more holistic sales transformations focused on architecture, execution, and skill-building opportunities across the client's entire go-to-market model:
- Optimize return on sales investments
Cutting sales costs without losing revenue is both art and science. Our collaborative approach helps companies gain transparency on the performance of their route-to-market mix while identifying potential improvement areas and concrete ways to achieve them, such as creating lean back-office sales operations.
- Find and capture pockets of “granular growth”
Nearly every company with a dispersed customer base and a large number of sales transactions has considerable opportunity for organic growth if it looks at the right level of granularity. We help companies take a fine-grained view by geography, industry segment, and offerings to find the hidden pockets of growth—including often overlooked small and medium-sized business segments—and then tailor the strategies and approaches needed to capture them.
- Align sales channels in a multichannel world
Customers are increasingly moving across all channels to get what they want. Some of them demand increased services for certain transactions while others prefer low-touch, 24/7 interactions. We help companies form effective selling strategies in all channels from key-account management to digital sales to indirect channel partners. Clients base these strategies on precise assessments of channel performance, channel economics, and customer preferences.
- Building the high-performing sales force
Today’s big company sales organizations often consist of thousands of people spread across vast geographies. To boost the effectiveness of these far-flung organizations, we help build necessary skills in the organization by providing innovative, hands-on programs that include performance dialogues, train-the-trainer capability building, and a “field and forum” approach for sales managers that combines classroom and on-the-job learning. This component is critical in achieving sustained improvement.
Examples of what we do
- Worked with a global high-tech company to redesign its sales model, boosting productive field seller time by 25 percent and reducing cycle time and errors in sales support
- Helped a retail bank improve salesforce efficiency, leading to a 20 percent sales increase and 40 percent more cross-selling by tellers in the first two months following the engagement
- Designed a new go-to-market model for a global data communications player, reducing selling, general and administrative costs by 20 percent over 18 months.
- “In Search of Sales Excellence” is a best-in-class, innovative sales and channels approach based on interviews with one hundred leading sales organizations conducted as part of our research.
- Our SMB (Small and Medium Businesses) Decision Maker is our proprietary panel of SMB decision-makers (36,000 people across six countries) who provide actionable insights that help companies position their marketing and sales organizations to target the small- and medium-sized business segment. Learn more at the SMB Decision Maker site.
- The Sales Operations Benchmarking Database helps companies evaluate their cost of transactional support, planning and reporting, structural support, and overall sales operations costs relative to peer companies.
- The Micro Market Management (M3) Growth Finder combines relevant macroeconomic and demographic data (including historic and future forecasts) to provide visual insights and analysis of growth opportunities at a granular geographic level.
- Our Go-To-Market Reference Model helps clients better understand the performance of their route-to-market mix while identifying opportunities and the concrete actions needed to address them.