Shifting a Sales Culture in a Multinational Organization


The newly hired Vice President of Global Sales for a leading global manufacturer of electro-mechanical products was mandated to reshape the global sales team. Faced with realigning its business efforts to capitalize on new technologies and product offerings there was a requirement to shift the sales culture from an order-taking environment to a high performing, solutions-based selling environment. The current global salesforce of more than 60 representatives was a collection of existing personnel held over from the acquired competitor, seconded sales staff from the parent company, and several new hires, all with varying degrees of competency and success rates.


It was recognized that the performance of the sales staff lagged behind that of its competitors and before a new plan could be implemented there was a need to identify and benchmark the performance levels of the global team.  After consultation with the Vice President of Global Sales and members of the Senior Management Team, four categories were chosen for analysis.  Each category had significantly different character traits necessary for an individual to perform effectively.  They included:
  1. Business Development:  Top performing salespeople who excel at new business development.  Responsible for large acquisitions
  2. Growth Opportunities:  Combination of new business and organic revenue growth.  Manage a mix of new and existing clients
  3. Account Management:  Primarily responsible for the development of existing clientele with some new business development within a relationship selling process
  4. Technical Trainers:  Strong product knowledge specialists assigned to one or two mature accounts with primary focus on customer service


All sales staff and sales managers were administered psychometric evaluations to identify their core competencies and predictability for success in any of the four categories.  Once completed, each person was placed in a category best suited to their psychological make up and performance triggers.


  1. Realignment of the sales staff to better capitalize on existing talents
  2. Creation of Top Performer Profiles that allowed for re-evaluation of individuals, providing them with specific training programs to improve performance
  3. Identification of “fast track” employees for future sales management opportunities; and matched sales personas based on category criteria to appropriate management models
  4. Mapping of core competencies for all categories to provide a guide for hiring appropriate individuals into the overall team based on competencies, fit and predictability of success in a particular sales environment.