This week, McKinsey is launching Growth Tech on Salesforce, a dedicated capability to help businesses maximize the value of their Salesforce investments.
Our portfolio brings together the deep expertise of S4G, a Salesforce Platinum Partner that we acquired last year, with our AI insights powered by QuantumBlack, capability building, and agile principles to help companies optimize their Salesforce environments and grow their customer and partner relationships.
How has the S4G acquisition changed the way we serve our clients?
Steve: With S4G, we have been able to expand the boundary of our client service and can now directly operate in our clients’ marketing and sales tech stack, in this case, Salesforce, which dominates the global CRM market. About 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies use it to manage their business relationships.
But research indicates that 50 percent of leaders believe that their Salesforce implementations are failing to deliver full expected results. Many times, the applications are in place, but they’re sub-optimized. Or a piece is missing. Or the technology needs to be upgraded to support a company’s new growth strategy. There is a huge need to help businesses gain more value from their Salesforce investments which is why we’re introducing Growth Tech on Salesforce.
Technology is an increasingly bigger part of every client relationship we have.
Steve: Yes, when we’re working with a client to achieve a transformation, we ultimately need hundreds, often times, thousands of people around the globe to change what they're doing on a daily basis.
For years, this has been done through change management, training, and reinforcement on the spot. But this is labor intensive, often can only be done for a limited time each day, and it can sometimes take weeks and months to see results.
Technology is changing all of this. For the last three years, our firm has invested deeply in building our tech capabilities so that we can innovate the way we serve clients, specifically “tech-enabling” them to achieve transformations in faster and more lasting ways.
Ever-changing customer behavior requires a new approach that focuses on customer-centricity and providing value—anytime, anywhere. That’s why the status quo has shifted decisively toward greater investments in built-for-growth technology. When we can improve the quality of insights it produces, shape how it presents information and triggers desired behaviors, and cascade this across an organization, it is a much more powerful way to help a company reinforce desired mindsets, behaviors, and outcomes.
We are launching Growth Tech on Salesforce into a highly competitive, billion-dollar ecosystem of advisory services. What makes our solutions unique?
Jan-Christoph: It is the fact that we can offer clients end-to-end solutions. We can design and build a completely new Salesforce environment that integrates our cutting-edge Growth Marketing & Sales solutions; implement a single solution leveraging AI for superior cross- and upselling; or optimize an existing system using one of our proprietary diagnostics to maximize returns.
We go from setting strategy at the highest level all the way to implementing and integrating it. Most other companies specialize on the left side of the equation, so to speak, in concepts, methods or tools; or on the right side, handling only the execution or implementation. We serve as an end-to-end growth partner for our clients. To do this, we have significantly expanded our client service offerings to help scale sales and marketing transformations.
From strategy, design, and implementation to capability building and operations, we simplify the complex in technology with high-precision data that brings more personalized value to every customer interaction.
What does a typical project look like?
Jan-Christoph: We start with a C-suite strategy on driving above-market growth based on tech-enablement, and then build and directly implement end-to-end use cases such as lead management, pricing, cross-selling, and others directly into the Salesforce system, allowing us to immediately scale the impact by providing our solutions to every sales rep at any time. Specifically, we use AI and analytics to generate the insights that inform every aspect of the CRM process. This includes improving users’ productivity, personalizing messaging to customers, optimizing pricing, and highlighting sales opportunities.
At every point, we are focused on identifying what will create the greatest value for the client, and we use that lens to make decisions and tradeoffs and sidestep the pitfalls of other implementations. We have seen uplifts of 10-20% in sales or more than 20% in productivity gains.
What has surprised you most over this past year of building this portfolio?
Steve: There has been a lot of frustration among C-suite executives who do not come from a technology background, feeling that teams are talking past each other; experiencing issues, missing deadlines.
What has amazed me the most is the ability of our S4G leaders to cut through that and spend several days, maybe a week, just looking at the data systems and the way the technology's been deployed—the code, the workflows, how the client teams are connecting—and come back with a succinct perspective on the specific issues that need to change—that resonates with both sides of the debate, the C-suite and the tech teams. That is a rare skill that is increasingly important.