Background and Challenge

L.E.K. Consulting's client, a leading U.S. packaging company owned by a private equity fund, experienced a significant decline in its business during the recent recession in 2008-2009.

Significant reductions were made in the sales force as well as in other support areas to cope with the loss of business.

As the markets began to recover, our client found its sales growth lagging behind that of competitors.

Approach and Recommendations

  • Conducted a detailed, objective evaluation of client’s sales function, leveraging our experience, knowledge of best practices and industry benchmarks
  • Worked with the management team to identify strengths and gaps in the performance of its sales force, sales processes and management, and related support areas
  • Performed a series of deep dives on a prioritized set of opportunities to validate their potential impact, while working closely with the company to build consensus
  • Developed a detailed implementation plan to support execution and realization of the benefits


  • Our client received a customized plan to help increase sales rep selling time, improve win rates and ultimately drive sustainable sales force improvements
  • Improvement opportunities included redesigned sales processes; improved coordination between the sales function and key support functions such as operations, finance and IT; tighter management of the sales force; a clearer understanding of sales performance; and a more aligned set of systems and tools to support sales
  • Due to the updated sales processes, we estimated an additional 5% in revenue upon completion of the implementation
  • Working closely with our client, we developed a detailed implementation plan to support execution, change management and sustainable sales performance improvement