A solid overview over the project pipeline and a mutual language for talking sales


We helped PPG to a clearly defined governance structure through:

  • A uniform method for approaching sales across all regions and markets
  • Increased sales efficiency through training of new mindset and new approaches for the sales personnel
  • Creation of a common vocabulary and sales terminology for sales opportunities, sales approach and pipeline management across the organization.
  • Clear alignment between the sales process and the CRM system

2015 turned out to be a year of adding new competencies for PPG Protective Coatings sales organization. The year was creating a sales process in exchange for knowledge, transparency, and a common language for the sales opportunities, the sales approach and pipeline management throughout the entire sales organization.

PPG hired Commerzial to define and implement a series of processes, tools, and a clear sales terminology to provide a better overview and understanding of the project sales pipeline and how to prioritize the subsequent sales activities.

Eighteen months after the project was launched, PPG were left with solid and reliable overview over the entire project pipeline, as well as a mutual language for talking sales and defining success criteria across all the involved markets.

See the full case below



PPG Industries is a Fortune 500 company and the world’s second largest supplier of paints, coatings and specialty materials measured by revenue. PPG provides paint and coating solutions for a nearly all industries, from airplanes and marines to automobiles and wood protection. The company owns several of the most well-known paint brands around the world. PPG last recorded a revenue of more than 15 billion dollars and have 46,000 employees worldwide.

The Challenge

About to introduce a new CRM system, PPG wanted to secure that this new and important sales- and management tool was based on a solid foundation – in particular with regards to the sales process, pipeline management, prioritization, and sales effectiveness.

PPG specifically wished to:

  1. Increase the effectiveness of its existing sales force and come to a better understanding of the sales process and what tools were needed to increase performance. Historically PPG had lacked understanding of each sales unites method of selling.
  2. Streamline the entire sales organization of approximately 100 people, 4 regional managers and several country managers who wanted to establish an aligned language on sales.
  3. Improve the long-term sales forecasts. While PPG were relatively good at short-term forecasts they weren’t as strong at doing long-term forecasts, which is bad news when you are dealing with project sales.
  4. Increase the predictability of the project sales performance, enabling them to take corrective actions up front to achieve both strategic and financial targets.

The Solution

PPG collaborated with Commerzial to identify, build and launch a new best practice sales process that was implemented throughout the entire sales organization by means of kick-offs, workshops and training sessions.

Commerzial delivered a clear definition of the governance structure along with a complete management toolbox tailored to PPG including:

  • Mapping of the purchasing and sales process as a guide for the sales force to ensure a uniform method for approaching sales across all regions and markets.
  • Identification of key stakeholders, key activities and key milestones in each step of the sales process.
  • Training of the sales personnel in a new mindset and new way of approaching sales for increased effectiveness.
  • Creation of a common vocabulary and sales terminology for sales opportunities, sales approach and pipeline management across the organization.
  • Clear alignment between the sales process and the CRM system.
  • Tools for better pipeline management with a clear overview of project sales, resulting in better ability to prioritize the sales effort and get more accurate sales forecasts.
  • Identification of “ghost” projects that enable management to readjust the business potential.
  • Identification and adjustment of project vs. runrate sales approach.
  • Implementation of the solution from management to the national offices.

The project delivered a transparent lead-indicators for business results on EMEA, regional and country level. It is an excellent example of how top management team not only saw a need for change but also secured a successful implementation through own direct involvement, diligent training and constant follow up.

The project was a success in the organization and greatly motivated both the managers and the individual sales reps to improve their sales performance.

Could This Be You?

Even in large international sales organizations with billions of dollars in net sales and well-established sales systems, it is not unusual for the management team to still lack sufficient understanding and visibility of the sales process or missing specific know-how to best improve sales efficiency.

The lack of visibility often boils down to the difference in people. In large sales organizations people usually come from many different cultures and backgrounds, and hold less common and formalized knowledge, than in many other organizational functions. They have often had different ways of working, using the same terminology with different interpretations and meanings and prompting very different actions and behaviors.

This lack of a common foundation hampers the building and sharing of best practice towards customer and partners, reducing the efficiency as well as the sales results.

That’s where Commerzial can make a real difference. We have more than 15 years of experience in optimizing large international sales organizations and getting people to speak the same sales language.

We have developed a proven toolbox of systems, management- and sales tools that increase mutual understanding and increase transparency, control and sales efficiency.

To learn how or to hear more about PPG or other relevant cases, contact Michael Jarnum on +45 6090 0202 or via email mja@commerzial.com

Want to get in touch with us?

Next caseNEC Display Systems EMEA