Case Study: Convenience Food Systems (CFS)

Client: Convenience Food Systems (CFS)
Sector: Food packaging, processing and marination business.
Case Study: Consultancy – business growth
Country: Netherlands

The Business Problem:

For some years the client had been experiencing disappointing results and an inability to grow their topline. Furthermore, the European division of their business was lagging behind and was the poorest performing region in their company.

The Strategy and Solution:

Acosphere was engaged in an 18-month contract to redefine the market potential and rejuvenate their product portfolio. We worked with the client to define exactly which markets they needed to invest their money in and determined the best way they should go to market from a commercial standpoint.

Acosphere implemented a thorough sales management approach to gain complete accuracy over the sales process and worked with the client to cascade it throughout the organisation. We set up the weekly, monthly and quarterly sales process reviews and sales management KPIs that the sales managers around the world needed to review on a weekly basis. In particular we focused on the management of the pipeline, the larger and the smaller more profitable business deals that the client was working on at that time.

Business opportunities were reviewed on a weekly basis through a teleconference sales call where each manager received coaching on how to win more deals and how to grasp and pursue even bigger business. This process also helped our client to better understand the forecasting process and improve upon it.

After our intervention in business development, Gilles Acogny teamed up with the client’s HR team to invigorate the client’s workforce. Together we created a series of incentive programs to inspire, motivate and reward employees. We began with establishing a President’s Club, a reward and recognition program for the best performing sales people, including a full commission performance-based pay program for them. Employees were also incentivized to earn a place on the trip of a lifetime event to South Africa with 50 other top performing sales people and their spouses. Both schemes proved to be highly successful following their implementation in 2009.

The Results:

  • After a year of involvement with CFS the CEO requested one specific Acosphere consultant to run the sales of European business which represented 60% of their business.
  • Over a period of 10 months, Acopshere and the local CFS team as well as some new players that Acosphere brought to France (a territory not well managed before Acosphere’s intervention) started growing at a 100% plus rate on a monthly basis.
  • Europe overall grew at 30% compound annual growth rate monthly and over 10 months grew by 28%.
  • These results led to another discussion with the CEO who requested that Acosphere focus on the indirect sales strategy of the company in May 2010 due to some discussions regarding the sale of the client company.
  • Following our work on the strategy, the client company was sold for €435million with a PE rate of 10 times profit (€40 million at that time) and a sale that was 3 times the amount the company was purchased for 5 years earlier.
  • The sales team was reported to be the most motivated team that the client had witnessed in many years.
  • Incentivised employees were motivated to deliver top results and such improved performance led to a positive topline result during the remainder of 2009 through to the end of their fiscal year in February 2010.