Skill Development Drives $800 Million in Upside Revenue

A global leader's investment in leadership development delivers big rewards.

The Situation

The corporation faces intense competitive pressure and consumer demands. In conjunction with this external pressure, there is internal pressure driven by a concern that its leadership "bench" has shrunk. A significant portion of the executive ranks will be eligible for retirement in the next 6-10 years. Therefore, its aggressive human capital development agenda is driven from the top of the sales organization, with a mandate to develop the next generation of leaders.

The Sales Team, which comprises 60% of its revenue stream, is the most strategic customer-facing group in the organization. Leadership of this channel is most concerned with two key leadership competencies: Innovation (the ability to come up with creative and innovative product and service solutions in collaboration with customers), and Knows the Business (the ability to know the business and the customer’s business, so that both strategies can be seamlessly aligned).

The corporation chose to invest in the further development of high-potential sales leaders, who are also targeted as the future leaders of the coveted Sales Team.

How Interaction Associates Helped

The Customer Management University (CMU) sponsored the design and development of a 6-12 month leadership learning process called "The Strategic Customer Leadership Forum: Innovation and Knows the Business," which is the cornerstone initiative for generating innovation breakthrough ideas for its customer base.

The audience for this initiative is the entire Sales Team sales leadership, 200-300 of the highest performers in the organization.

Interaction Associates was selected for its practical, world-class leadership and innovation content. “Interaction Associates has the talent bench necessary to deliver a world-class learning experience, and instructional design expertise that facilitates flexibility and adaptability to meet the needs of the participants,” the director of CMU said.

Return on Involvement

As a result of the learning process and subsequent team work applying skills learned, the teams produced results that include:

  • A regional selling team, with a $3 million investment, expects to gain $25 million in revenue with 1% growth. 
  • A business trend team, with a $9 million investment, expects to gain $90 million in new revenue. 
  • A channel strategy team with a $2 million investment, expects to gain $10 million in revenue -- and save $12.7 million in costs. 
  • A team focused on tools and processes to minimize price and maximize value, expects to realize $100 million potential annually. 
  • A cross-divisional alignment team has uncovered a $164 million sales opportunity. 
  • A customer information and needs team has uncovered a $50 million sales opportunity. 
  • National sales team #1 expects to realize $48-85 million in revenue in a major category over next two years. 
  • National sales team #2 plans to use a custom packaging strategy to earn 20% share of customers -- the upside potential of this strategy is $300 million. 
  • National sales team #3 developed a customized business trend program targeted to generate $36 million in increased sales. 

IA Services Provided

  • Action Learning.
  • Team Development.
  • Simulation-Based Learning.
  • Innovation Skill Development.

Project at a Glance

  • A world leader in convenient foods and beverages.
  • Developed 80 sales leaders in business know-how and innovation.
  • Transformed the sales organization.

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