Background and Challenge

L.E.K. Consulting's client, a leading office furniture manufacturer with revenues in excess of $1B, was facing stagnating sales and profits.

The client’s sales were distributed across various channels, including office furniture retail stores, office furniture dealers, office supply dealers, catalogs and online.

This manufacturer engaged us to design solutions that would enable our client’s sales force and channel partners to better sell its products.

Approach and Recommendations

  • Performed a market and channel assessment to understand the market landscape and the channel profitability, which included identifying the core client’s market segments, end consumers’ unmet needs, and how the client could best support its channel partners
  • Performed detailed analysis and evaluated recent sales force performance, using best practice benchmarks to determine what the sales force needed to be more productive
  • Recommended key changes in sales force processes and structure, and quantified the financial benefits of implementation
  • Developed a clear blueprint detailing the path to enable these recommendations and drive sales


  • The client received detailed information on key channels, buying and channel support requirements, and consumer unmet needs, and a detailed plan on how to meet those needs
  • The client was able to take share in the independent dealer channel, and that supply chain efficiency in turn improve the client’s pricing leverage in other channels
  • The client designed an innovative “concierge” model for top customers, and improved productivity by shifting nondirect selling activities to customer service
  • The client also gained a clear understanding of the revenue potential of implementing the sales force process and structure recommendations, as well as a detailed transition plan for achieving management’s three-to-five-year goals

The client subsequently replicated the business model in their other business units