Achieving growth is enormously challenging in today’s complex and fast-changing business environment. But growth opportunities do exist for companies with the skill and will to find them. The rise of “big data,” the explosion of sales over digital platforms, and the professionalization of sales management mean that both the art and science of selling are undergoing a fundamental shift.
“This is not a time to ignore sales; it’s a time to reassess and reinvent it,” says Marc Benioff, founder and CEO of salesforce.com. “As technology evolves and makes the world closer, more global, and more interconnected, I have only become more convinced of the importance of sales and the need for companies to implement the right strategies and right services to get better at selling.”
McKinsey’s new book, Sales Growth, is based on analysis and interviews with more than 120 top sales executives. It shares their experiences of finding and capturing growth, and discusses how they build the capabilities to keep growing in the future. The stakes are high: the best sales organizations we researched outstrip their peers by 50 to 80 percent in terms of revenue and profitability. In other words, companies that put sales management at the heart of their agenda have captured astonishing growth opportunities. (see Figure 1)