SG&A: Assess expenses and performance, fast and objectively

The efficiency and effectiveness of your sales and marketing functions have a strong bearing on overall SG&A costs – not to mention your organization’s performance.

Are you able to consistently define, measure and communicate the value that your marketing organization creates? Are your sales resources optimally aligned across channels and segments to achieve your market objectives? How well are you balancing your cost of service with customer expectations and satisfaction?

Unrivaled insights that drive process improvement and optimize SG&A costs and performance

Our SG&A benchmarking services provide access to The Hackett Group’s proprietary Best Practice Intelligence Center™ – an unparalleled repository of critical processes, SG&A benchmarking data and business best practices developed from more than 13,000 business process benchmarking projects conducted at the world’s leading companies.

Our unrivaled SG&A benchmarking data gives insight into the performance and business best practices of peers and world-class sales and marketing organizations. This insight includes dozens of sales KPIs and marketing KPIs that can help you:

  • Understand current capabilities
  • Assess performance relative to business value and strategy
  • Identify and prioritize process transformation opportunities that offer the greatest potential return
  • Highlight and address areas of risk
  • Plan, manage and accelerate your journey to world-class performance

Marketing and sales processes measured

  • Marketing communications
  • Brand and product management
  • Marketing research and analytics
  • Planning and strategy
  • Functional management
  • Sales operations and execution
  • Service operations and execution
  • Order and contract management

What makes the difference?

Our SG&A benchmarking services focus on three drivers of world-class performance:

  • Factors that drive demand for sales and marketing function services, such as geographies served, products supported, regulatory environment and customers
  • Structural factors such as business processes, people and organization, technology used, partnerships and policies
  • Performance as measured by costs, productivity, economic return, supplier leverage, working capital, cycle time and other marketing and sales KPIs

Then, we use proprietary process benchmarking methodology to quantify your gap to world class – comparing your sales and marketing function’s ability to execute efficiently (cost and productivity) and effectively (quality and value). We examine comparable organizations so you can see how the best do it, and we define continuous process improvement steps relevant to your own sales and marketing function.

Our analysts use sales KPIs and marketing KPIs such as these to calculate world-class performance:


  • FTEs per $1 billion of revenue
  • Process cost as a percent of revenue
  • Marketing spend as a percent of revenue
  • FTEs per new campaign launch
  • Days to launch new campaigns
  • Value per sales transaction
  • Trade spend per trade marketing FTE
  • Sales FTEs per top 10 and bottom 10 customers
  • Touches per order
  • Number of orders processed automatically


  • Marketing spend per customer
  • Revenue per customer
  • Revenue per FTE
  • Customer retention percentage
  • Ease of access to customer data
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Pipeline conversion rate
  • Time spent analyzing versus collecting data
  • Percent of losses where formal loss reviews are conducted
  • Percent of orders with errors

Impact beyond your sales and marketing function

Business processes and systems inextricably link your sales and marketing function with other enterprise functions. Process improvements in one area may have a ripple effect on others: for example, more effective sales and marketing campaigns affect demand and, in turn, procurement and supply chain processes.

Our business benchmarking approach examines efficiency and effectiveness not just within the sales and marketing function but also with a view toward the impact across your enterprise.

Key deliverables

  • An executive summary that highlights key findings and recommendations
  • A detailed comparison of marketing KPIs and sales KPIs and to the statistical median and world-class organizations, across the processes measured
  • Analysis of the root causes of complexity and assessment of the value of sales and marketing services delivered, drawing from benchmark comparisons and stakeholder feedback
  • Identification of best practices required to achieve targeted efficiencies and identification of areas at risk due to under-investment
  • Targeted recommendations presented in boardroom-level, results-oriented business terms