Is Your Sales Organization a House Divided?

Written by Jamie Cleghorn, Mark Kovac

In organizations that have separate product and service sales teams, the CEO and sales executives often assume these groups collaborate closely. That would be the logical way to grow sales and maximize the value of every customer. Yet at many firms, the two groups have evolved separately and operate with separate systems and processes, often with spotty collaboration.

Executives at one technology provider heard from customers about disjointed sales approaches, despite reassurances from the sales staff that they went to market with one voice. The company decided to diagnose whether it had an organizational gap, using Microsoft’s Workplace Analytics software. The chart depicts the intensity of sales staff relationships, as represented by the amount of email traffic between individuals. It clearly shows how little communication was occurring between the two groups. Separate analysis found that more than half of the largest service accounts also bought products, suggesting a major revenue opportunity and a chance to create a better customer experience.

Continue reading on Bain & Company Insights


This article was published on

Bain & Company Insights
Jamie Cleghorn
Jamie Cleghorn

Jaime Cleghorn is a partner with Bain & Company’s Customer Strategy & Marketing practice.Jamie Cleghorn is a partner with Bain & Company’s Customer Strategy & Marketing practice.

Mark Kovac
Mark Kovac

Mark Kovac is a partner in Bain & Company's Dallas office. He is the leader of Bain's Sales and Channel Effectiveness, Go-to-Market Strategy and Commercial Excellence products within the firm's Customer Strategy & Marketing practice. He is also a leader in Bain's TechnologyMedia & Telecom (TMT) practices. He has nearly 20 years of experience helping clients to develop and execute pragmatic recommendations that drive tangible, enduring results.

Also found in Management Strategy


What If Companies Managed People as Carefully as They Manage Money?

Originally published ON HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW

What If Companies Managed People as Carefully as They Manage Money?

Eric Garton

Today’s executives spend a lot of time managing the balance sheet, despite the fact that it doesn’t represent their company’s scarcest resource. Financial capital is relatively abundant and cheap. According…

The Analytics of Sales Time Well Spent

Originally published ON Bain & Company Insights

The Analytics of Sales Time Well Spent

Jonathan Frick, Mark Kovac

Sales executives with even moderately large, distributed salesforces rely on data to help them understand which activities and behaviors lead to the best outcomes. Solid data and analysis allow them…

What Great Managers Do Daily

Originally published ON HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW

What Great Managers Do Daily

Nina Shikaloff, Ryan Fuller

So much depends upon managers. For example, a Gallup study found that at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores is driven by who the boss is. This…