Chapter 13 Manage Performance for Growth

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.


TDC, Denmark’s incumbent telecommunications company, was finding growth challenging. One cause was obvious: aggressive attackers were making serious inroads. Less obvious was the internal roadblock to growth—a sales organization that was increasingly ineffective against the attackers.

In its quest for growth, TDC examined its sales performance to discover the root causes of its problems. In its B2B division, it found enormous variations between sales staff’s performance: the number of customer meetings per account manager varied by a factor of ten across the company and in some districts, reps had failed to call up to 60 percent of accounts, leaving the field wide open for the competition. Results were below management expectations, and sales-force morale and motivation were low.

Armed with this knowledge, the CEO of TDC Business launched 14-week pilot programs to see how the company could perform better and more consistently, at both the team and the individual rep level. Groups of ten sales reps were brought together, each under a team leader. Representatives from customer care and consulting also joined these teams. Teams were given a set of ten tools to use in their day-to-day work—all geared toward raising sales performance. These included daily hands-on coaching of the rep by the manager, checklists, frequent discussions of team and individual performance, ...

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