Neophotonics

Industry

Semiconductor - Communications

Initiative

Up-leveling the global sales and customer service force

Business Challenge

As told by Edward Hudson, Senior Director Human Resources & Organizational Development.."Our Global Sales SVP was the requestor / executive sponsor for this effort.  One hurdle was that while he is steeped in high tech sales experience, he has no recent experience with up-leveling the global sales and customer service force – i.e., figuring out what to do and how to do it.  He’s just done it the way he’s done it for a decade or more.  So he wasn’t quite sure how to approach this problem or what he should be looking for in a vendor / partner. 
 
The challenge was huge. The objective was to get the senior management of the organization aligned, a program outlined, materials developed, and the course delivered at the global sales meeting an exotic locale half a world away and to do all of this with about 3 months of runway.  The sales org had done some benchmarking work with CEB, which gave management quite a lot to consider.  Figuring out how to get from here to there can paralyze some organizations.
 
Another significant hurdle was the confidence factor – without direct personal experience with a vendor, how can you be completely sure that you’ll get what you were hoping to, and that all participants would appreciate and learn from the experience?  Certainly there are many options available to consider.
 
Cost is always a factor.  Qualifications and experience are critical.  And perhaps often underestimated is ‘fit” – that subjective, hard to quantify sense that the vendor will mesh with the organization, with the personalities of the participant group.  You want to know that whoever is leading the training ‘gets the feel’ of the audience, that they pick up on unspoken cues, and are sensitive to what’s working and what’s not.  Clearly we had a number of gates to navigate in order to achieve success with this program."

Solution Overview

"Mark and his team established credibility immediately based on their collective experience in sales.  They know how it works.  They know how to make it work better.
 
They also established early on their ability to leverage their own personal experiences to understand the company’s and its sector’s unique sales environment, cycles, and success factors.
 
The SVP was personally very involved in the development of the program and its materials.  As confident as one might feel at this point, we knew the real sense of success would come once the session is kicked off.  It was apparent early on at the global sales meeting that CDI was not just in the ballpark, but that they had hit it out of the ballpark.
 
The senior managers in the organization were obviously engaged, energized, and impressed.  The ‘rank and file’ participants were also obviously engaged and enthused throughout the 2 ½ day program addressing Account Management, Negotiations, and Performance Coaching."

Results

"The program was an unqualified success.  I looked like a hero for making the referral.  Most importantly for me, the project met the established objectives and helped improve the company’s capabilities.  Other vendors could have done this also, but I don’t think many vendors could have done it as well or better.  Our SVP Global Sales was very pleased with the process and results, and I know he is intent on continuing to work with Mark and his team to ensure the learning’s stick and  that the sales and customer service organizations achieve next level performance."