The lean-manufacturing revolution profoundly altered the business world as companies reinvented how they built things to be more efficient and productive. The authors of this article believe it’s time that companies apply that same level of scrutiny and commitment to marketing and sales. McKinsey research is increasingly clear: companies with better marketing and sales capabilities grow faster. At a time when growth is not only more important but arguably more elusive than ever, companies must tap the potential of marketing and sales to deliver better results.
To help leaders understand marketing and sales performance, McKinsey recently conducted a detailed benchmarking study involving 15,000 employees at more than 140 leading B2B and B2B2C global businesses. The findings were clear: revenue growth at companies with more advanced marketing and sales capabilities tended to be 30 percent greater than the average company within their sector (exhibit). That means in an industry growing at 4 percent annually, a company in the top quartile of marketing and sales capabilities typically grows by around 5.3 percent.