Freed up 4 hours of wasted work time - per week

The Client


Finnish consulting company with ~ 300 employees in Finland


The Challenge


Our client's sales team wanted to free up more of their time to better serve their most profitable target customer group: their high-value large customers.


The current operating model had been in use for several years, but wasn’t scalable enough for the team.


The sales and production team also had both gaps and overlapping responsibility areas in their work distribution, which caused issues in both internal and customer-facing tasks.


The Solution


We were tasked to identify and design alternative operating models to both improve efficiency and increase customer satisfaction especially in the large customer segment.


A secondary goal was to distribute the workload in a new way between the marketing, sales and consulting teams.



During a 5-week project, we attacked the challenge on three fronts:


1. Customer relationship management model

First, in tight collaboration with the sales team itself, we developed service level standards for clients of different size and value. "How do we serve our customers best and how much time do we want to spend serving them?"


The goal was to ensure most of the team's time was spent serving the largest and most profitable clients, while also ensuring smaller clients were kept happy.


We provided structure and facilitation, the sales team itself developed the client prioritisation criteria.


2. NEW ROLES 🔥

The core change for the team was in a new role distribution between the marketing, sales and production teams.


Going over the full client acquisition process, we redefined and distributed tasks and responsibilities between the three teams. The driving questions here where: "Who can most efficiently perform this task? How do we provide most value to our customers at each stage? How do we create balanced and motivating roles and work weeks?"


Special focus was given on team handovers and information flow from one team to another to make sure all double work and knowledge gaps were eliminated.



An example: the team had previously always included 2 salespeople in all client meetings. We now defined a practice of having a single salesperson, a salesperson+expert or a solo expert conducting client meetings. In the new model the expert team was involved in client meetings at an earlier stage than before: this freed up salesperson resources AND made projects more fitted for the expert team as they now got to plan their future projects together with the clients earlier on in the sales process.


Finally, we identified competence training, hiring needs and key people development themes for the team to make sure everyone got comfortable with their new role and felt well supported.


3. Standardised offering

Finally, we also identified a few key time thieves for the sales team. By involving the expert team in sales material creation, for example, we identified that a lot of the work that had previously been 100% personalised for all clients could easily be standardised without lowering quality. This was a huge time saving, as the team sent out ~ 50 proposals to clients every week.

We also helped the teams' create a common pricing table, which meant the salespeople could from now on give most clients a direct price quote in the first meeting. This freed up time from both the sales and expert teams.


And was a definite win for customer experience, too!



The Impact


Redistributing the work between the sales and production teams freed up 10 % of the sales team's working time for them to focus on their most profitable customer group, which had previously been underserved.


That's 4 hours of new sales effort every week by every salesperson!


The new operating model was designed differently for different customer groups, with the largest and most profitable customers now receiving most attention from both sales and production teams.


For the production team, the new operating model brought more clarity and responsibility: by being involved in the sales process at an earlier stage than before, they had the chance to impact their future projects’ planning and schedules, and could resource projects accordingly at an early date.


At the individual level, the new operating model also gave more flexibility for role design and tasking. More junior team members were also newly tasked with client-facing duties, which made their roles more diverse and sped up their learning.


Win-win-win for both teams!



Read more about our Change program approach!