Next Step Helps ShoreTel Create a 39% Increase in Sales Productivity

Challenge: Increase revenue and expand global customer base while moving to a scalable, digital service business model.

Result: Exceeded goals with > 35% annual increase in sales productivity, revenue and valuation leading to lucrative merger.

ShoreTel Needs: Founded in 1996, ShoreTel quickly grew into the world-leading provider of “brilliantly simple” integrated systems for business communications. In 2011, four years after the company’s IPO, annual revenue began to plateau at $350 million. In addition, the company’s 1000 global channel partners required significant sales support–especially with mid- to large-size opportunities.

As the market was changing with new competitors offering communications as a service solutions, ShoreTel’s market share, profitability and ability to grow (or sustain) were threatened. The leadership team recognized the need for a different ‘go to market’ commercial approach was needed for scalability and ultimate business transformation.

Next Step Engaged for Scalable Commercial Model Enhancement

After an extensive review and due diligence of potential solution providers by the ShoreTel executive team, Next Step was selected based on the firm’s:

  • Proven Go-to-Market experience in cloud and traditional market environments
  • Holistic approach incorporating all aspects of Marketing, Sales, People and Process Enhancement
  • Phased project oriented business model ensuring cost effective delivery of comprehensive service offerings
  • Collaborative workstyle with dedication to delivering real results

Commercial Scalability Readiness Assessment to Implementation Results:

Based on efficient assessment and analysis of ShoreTel’s commercial approach, channel partners and field future readiness, Next Step quickly developed and rolled out an enhanced sales model, process and enablement program to:

  • Enhance consistency, productivity and scalability of the Sales Process
  • Realign and increase synergy across the organizational structure and roles
  • Develop product-sales field and channel personnel’s skills in business solution selling to become trusted business advisors offering integrated services
  • Transform sales and delivery process to a services mindset to integrate and leverage ShoreTel acquisition of cloud solution provider M5 Networks
  • Track, measure and continually enhance sales productivity results and team skills through use of analytics, digital tools and business processes
  • Facilitate learning and integrate coaching process within management team

Solutions Provided by Next Step:

To address ShoreTel’s needs from strategy definition through implementation with the tools processes and training / coaching necessary for long term success, Next Step’s team:

  • Developed detailed go-to-market plan for scalable sales model to enhance revenue, mindshare and productivity of channel partners
  • Implemented skill development program to integrate and evolve cloud (M5) and ShoreTel team and partners selling approaches toward business advisor role for future
  • Refined and aligned business processes tools and platform, including SalesForce CRM, PRM and deal registration system to support the new scalable and future-ready sales process
  • Enhanced ShoreTel Partner Program and Process to increase mindshare with and revenue from digital-ready partners
  • Improved company-wide business processes, competencies, communication and alignment to best address current and future market needs
ShoreTel Challenges:
  • Increase revenue from new higher value customers.
  • Improve sales productivity of field and partners by > 25%
  • Build and implement scalable commercial operations for recurring revenue growth