A major telecommunications company with customer service and call centers across the U.S.
Need The organization kicked off a strategic selling initiative in their customer care call centers in an effort to increase revenue by using such methods as up-selling and cross-selling. This required a significant cultural shift to expand the scope from primarily a customer care orientation to both a care and sales focus. A major task was to redefine the position of the first-line manager to include more responsibility for generating sales revenue. By providing managers with the necessary skills to drive revenue and manage in an increasingly competitive sales culture, the organization wanted to upgrade its current talent pool without hiring from outside the company.
We conducted a strategic job analysis to outline how the current position differed from the desired role and analyzed performance measures to determine which managers were most successful. This enabled us to develop a profile of the most critical individual characteristics which would predict success in the new sales- and service-oriented job. Incumbents were assessed and compared to this success profile using a customized 360-degree feedback survey and a well-validated personality inventory. Managers received detailed feedback from this assessment process and were provided assistance in creating developmental action plans to address gaps identified from the assessment. The organization was able to provide targeted training to address specific developmental needs, particularly in the areas of sales skills and coaching and motivating employees. After the intervention, managers were much better equipped to deal with the challenges and uncertainties associated with the new sales-focused environment. The results of this engagement also provided the organization systematic data for redefining the job, a testing process to assist in the selection of future managers, performance management systems, and incentive programs to help meet competitive challenges