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Is your sales organization a house divided?

Jamie Cleghorn, Mark Kovac

September 1, 2017

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.

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Jamie Cleghorn

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

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 Technology, Media & Telecom (TMT) practices. He has nearly 20 years of experience helping clients to develop and execute pragmatic recommendations that drive tangible, enduring results.