Specialty Chemicals Distributor

Situation and Challenge

  • Growth in the company’s 5 geographically-segmented divisions had historically come through the acquisition of new supplier lines
  • Management was now looking to drive organic growth and hypothesized that there were multiple sales force-related growth levers that remained untapped
  • Blue Ridge Partners was asked to identify high-potential organic growth levers and to develop an action plan to capture perceived opportunities


  • With an open-ended directive, we used a hypothesis-driven approach to uncover opportunities
  • Developed a focused list of hypotheses based on internal interviews
  • Conducted The Nine Voices of the Market ®interviews with current and lost customers and competitors to identify additional areas of opportunity based on their perspectives and determine response to potential recommended changes
  • Analyzed internal financial and sales information, including territory data, time allocation, cross-selling, pipeline performance and compensation to test and further refine hypotheses
  • Conducted ‘ride-alongs’ of certain members of the organization to gain a deeper understanding of growth inhibitors
  • After identifying promising areas of opportunity, we developed an action plan including supporting technical/system support requirements to both close gaps that inhibited growth and bolster areas with high potential


  • The projected impact of the recommended changes for the six initiatives was nearly 75% organic growth over a 5-year period, or an average CAGR of 12%


Six Areas for Growth

Estimated Impact by Growth Area

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