When an Asia-based private equity consortium purchased a local directory publisher, it inherited a firm that seemed to be in a downward spiral. Both customers and employees were leaving fast, leading to revenue declines in each of the previous five years and little hope for improvement in sight. The investors called on Consult Plus to help turnaround the situation and increase salesforce effectiveness, leading to a more than two time return on their investment upon exit.
DirectoryCo was among the leading directory providers in the Asia-Pacific region, but inefficiencies in its sales process hindered advertising revenue and overall growth. As with many companies, it could not reach its full potential without increasing its salesforce effectiveness.
At the same time, the processes and systems to manage and incentivize sales staff were inadequate. An inefficient compensation structure drove high turnover, but declining revenues made it hard to retain top performers or attract high-quality new salespeople. This vicious cycle perpetuated customer defections, and ultimately, revenue declines.
Consult Plus worked with the new private equity owners, along with DirectoryCo management, to identify, prioritize and resolve the most pressing salesforce challenges.
The teams set the tone for the project by initially segmenting and prioritizing customers and accounts, identifying the profit potential associated with each one.
The work resulted in the implementation of six priority initiatives and salesforce effectiveness measures were successfully implemented across the organization, addressing the initial retention and structural issues.
The salesforce turnaround laid the foundation for substantial revenue growth and investment return:
- Revenue increased 15% in the first year
- Upon IPO exit, the private equity company generated more than 2.5 times their original investment – within one year