Science, not Art: Defining a Sustainable Sales Strategy through Analysis


Case Summary

The client wanted to take the “guesswork” out of the components of strategic planning. Symmetrics Group identified the most impactful areas of sales costs and developed analytical approaches to help the client allocate their resources more wisely.

Business Challenge

Our client was a high tech producer of test and measurement equipment and solutions for large telecommunications companies and equipment manufacturers. It sold to all the major telcos, did business throughout the globe, and is considered the leader in its space, with win ratios that exceed the competition in many markets. The client’s major challenge was to better understand where to allocate capital and resources for the highest return. It struggled to understand optimal resource and capital allocations, including productivity, resource loadings, and cost of sales. It was in the middle of creating their annual operating plan (AOP) and needed more insight into areas for improvement and strategic ‘bets’. 

Symmetrics Group Approach

Symmetrics Group worked with the client on the following items:

  • Sales Resourcing: : We determined how sales resources were concentrated and what the ratios were among various roles – e.g., sales engineers and sellers or sales management and sellers, etc.
  • Sales Productivity and Costs: : We isolated the pockets of high/low sales productivity, and assessed how they aligned to JDSU’s strategy and investments. We also identified the costs of sales by region, business unit, and product level, and compared to external and internal benchmarks, along with historical trends. A model was then built to scenario cost of sale, resource, and productivity changes, for future planning needs.
  • Sales Coverage: : We conducted a high-level analysis around current coverage and ‘white or red’ space opportunities – across regions, business units, and accounts.
  • Channel Analysis: Finally, we reviewed the costs and productivity by channel, and the ‘hidden’ costs of the channel infrastructure and management.


The company’s president reviewed Symmetrics Group’s final recommendations and then sent them to the CEO and Board. The president and SVP of Sales were both in support of the recommended changes, demonstrating an ‘appetite’ for making some bold strategic moves. The client is in the process of executing the recommendations and made them an integral part of their key strategies for FY14.


  • “We’ve been asking for something like this for 2+ years.” – Regional Vice President
  • “Good feedback from SVP of Sales and the president … nice work. They asked me to send along their thank you.” – Project Sponsor
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