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B2B Sales Turnaround Case Study: B2B Hosted Software - SAAS - Technology

B2B Hosted Technology Solutions – Sales Team Turnaround - SAAS




This technology division of a publicly traded company sells their technology as a hosted software solution (SAAS) to IT departments of organizations engaged in monetizing their website traffic through online advertising. Although many would mistakenly classify this as a complex sale, the CTO/VP/Director of IT clearly makes the decision with little (if any) input from other departments. Although this product is at least equal to its blue chip competitor in features and offered at a lower price point, the sales department is currently 20% to sales objective. The goal is to quickly ramp up sales to either challenge for market leadership or to put enough pressure on #1 to force it to eliminate it as a competitive threat through acquisition.




The sales team has languished on its own since the launch of this division with little vision, direction, or leadership. The pressure to perform from the top of the company is palpable, yet the sales strategy is not clearly defined, the sales process has numerous flaws, and the client targeting criteria is based more on hunches than on market research. While the corporate goals for this division have been well conceived and attainable, the division’s sales plan lacks market research and analysis, competitive intelligence, product differentiation, a marketing strategy including a demand generation and lead management plan, and effective territory design and planning. These problems have resulted in performance of 20% to objective over the previous six months.




The depth of the problems necessitate that we treat this turnaround more as a startup than a sales turnaround.  Marketing will conduct market research, analysis, and planning to assist in the development of a go-to-market strategy. A lead generation and demand generation strategy will be developed, and the leads will pass directly into the sales CRM where they will be scored in order to provide marketing with ongoing data to constantly improve the quality of the sales leads. This information will become one of the cornerstones of the sales plan which include the strategic vision and tactical implementation plan.


The sales force will be individually trained as SME’s (subject matter experts) and be assigned a subset of verticals to improve the call to close ratio. The top 100 prospects from each vertical will be identified, and a sales plan will be individually developed for each prospect. A buyer-based sales process is being developed and implemented (solution selling) in order to tap into the unique requirements of the client. Outside of the top 100, the reps are being trained on prospecting including the identification of targets and qualified decision-makers, the approach, problem identification, and customizing the presentation to solve the client’s needs. Contract negotiation and closing skills will be further sharpened, and sales management will play an active role to insure the success of each individual rep.




We energized the team by providing vision and forward sales momentum, while at the same time developing a sales process, tools, and systems that would serve as a foundation for the long-term growth of this technology division. After successfully re-deploying the division as a differentiated competitor in the market, the buyer-based sales process produced immediate and sustained results.


During our ninety days together, the team improved from 20% to objective to at least 180% to objective each month without adding additional headcount. The product was now firmly in control of the #2 position in the market, and was applying pressure to the incumbent in virtually every deal which they were involved in. As a result, the company achieved its stated objective when this division was acquired by the market leader a few months after the turnaround was completed.




Our sales case studies are designed to provide you with a "big picture" snapshot of sales problems faced by various companies, the broad strategies used to guide the sales turnaround, and the subsequent results. Certainly there are many strategies that can accomplish a single desired result, however, the key to the success of any sales strategy resides within the implementation.


We pride ourselves on being experts in sales force turnaround implementation, and many of the specific tools and processes we use to accelerate sales are proprietary to Sage Warfield. While our website provides a plethora of tools, tips, and strategies for you to use on your own, our case studies do not contain an "IMPLEMENTATION" section in order to protect Sage Warfield's intellectual property. However, we welcome you to contact us directly if you have specific questions regarding implementation. We would love to hear from you, and will do our best to help.




Please be advised that all sales case studies published on this website are the property of Sage Warfield, and protected by federal copyright law. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of Sage Warfield.

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