Background and Challenge

Although the client, a manufacturer of commercial kitchen equipment, had a market-leading position, it used a simplistic “one size fits all” approach for aligning sales resources to its customers, which did not take into account size, value or need.

The client engaged L.E.K. to optimize how it invested its resources to sell products to specific customers.

Approach and Recommendations

  • Analyzed historical sales data, worked with the sales team, and conducted independent research to redefine customer segments and clearly identify the client’s needs.
  • Articulated value propositions for each recently defined customer segment.
  • Analyzed the value each customer group represented (both near-term and long-term) and the relative cost to deliver each value proposition, and prioritized the groups accordingly for resource allocation, to maximize long-term growth potential.


  • The client was able to quickly adjust its existing sales organization to use the new customer segmentation approach. Accounts were reassigned based on salesperson capabilities, and costly engineering resources were reallocated to focus only on the highest-value accounts.
  • This new customer segmentation also created a career progression pathway that allowed a new generation of junior sales reps to build and grow a set of customers.
  • Almost immediately, the company realized productivity gains from its sales team and experienced positive feedback from the market regarding the clarity of the new approach.