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Commercial Excellence

Sales Excellence program to establish a common foundation for future growth following several strategic acquisitions

Following several strategic acquisitions, Iver – the leading Nordic IT Services provider, wanted to strengthen the commercial capabilities to support its growth journey. Ascend’s role was to help design and implement the new capabilities in close collaboration with the group management and sales teams.

Ascend supporting in sales excellence and post merger integration

Iver is a leader in the Nordic region in multi-cloud solutions with a proven ability to realize digital transformation for companies and organizations with high demands on IT infrastructure, regulatory compliance, and cyber security. The Iver group employs approximately 1,400 people and has a turnover of about SEK 2.4 billion.

Following 10+ strategic acquisitions over three years, Iver wanted to establish a common commercial model to support their growth journey. Besides establishing a joint brand, Iver performed limited operational integration of the companies at the time. As a result, the team articulated a new strategy to meet growth targets and increase focus on larger customers and deals.

As each acquired company had their ways of working, there was a need to agree and align to one joint model and perform a capability uplift to enable the sales organization to target new business and customer segments.

Ascend supported in driving the Sales Excellence workstream as part of an overall transformation program. The ambition was to work in an agile way with prioritized deliveries each month and a continuous introduction and implementation of the new assets in the organization.

With a strong expertise in customer centricity and B2B sales excellence combined with an in-depth understanding of the IT services industry, Ascend was the ideal partner to support in designing and implementing a new common commercial model enabling us to realize our growth strategy.

Johan Kvist, VP Strategy & Commercial Management

The project focused on designing and implementing six fundamental building blocks:

  • A common customer segmentation model and a joint prioritization of “most wanted customers” to improve the customer engagement throughout the customer journey and secure the right sales resources for each customer and prospect
  • A standardized marketing and sales process and common ways of working throughout the customer journey to boost the return of marketing investments, secure a smooth customer experience and optimize internal efficiency
  • A common organizational blueprint and role descriptions for the sales organization to align sales resources and create a base for performance management. Organizational mapping of the new roles was performed and calibrated across regions according to Willis Tower Watson methodology
  • One common incentive model for attracting, developing and retaining the right people and incentivize performance in line with the strategy. Design of the incentive model, simulations of economic consequences and anchoring of the model in the organization
  • A common sales governance with agreed objectives, targets, and KPIs established for the sales organization and a follow-up of the sales pipeline
  • Adjustment of the CRM system to support the new ways of working and to digitalize and automatize process flows and decision-making, such as opportunity probability scoring, customer segmentation and most wanted customer classification. Requirements setting, testing and launch of new CRM functionality
  • Training of the sales organization in the sales excellence model and CRM system

The aim was to realize value during the project by using an agile project approach and an inclusive way of working. Therefore, it was important not to design complex structures with the potential of realizing value after implementation. The effect was significant, and the number of won deals with MRC (Monthly Recurring Charge) above 100 kSEK increased by 100% between H1 2020 and H2 2021. In addition, the average MRC value improved approximately 10% during the same period.

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