1. Describe the challenges the client faced before coming into contact with Itim?
The issue was that our client wanted and needed to increase the customer relations management value, because of increased complexity of the decision making units at clients, its commitment to growth by opening new markets, growing competition and the increasing number of cross-national clients. The client had built a European organisation enabling them to execute this strategy and now wanted to develop a dedicated and pro-active marketing-, sales- and account management approach.
2. Briefly describe what solutions were presented and taken up
In general, the desired result of the project was to enhance commercial and technical competencies of the customer facing staff in Europe. On organisational level the project was defined as a cultural change in the direction of a much more pro-active and result driven organisation. Organisational culture audits, training, personal coaching, consulting to management, organisational development were different options to accomplish this change. The focus in the Concorde II project would lie on a large number of training programmes, which comprised commercial training programs, like:Basic Marketing, Marketing, Customer Relation Management, Sales Techniques, Advanced Sales Techniques, Presentation Techniques, Negotiation Techniques,Customer Service Operations, Telephone Sales and Link Selling. It also comprised a set of management training programs, like Time Management, Project Management, Intercultural Management, People Management, Train-The-Trainer Commercial Competence Development.
Every programme was developed in the following versions:
- A European Intercultural Version
- A Local Version for every country(cluster) involved: Germany/The Netherlands, United Kingdom/Sweden, France, Spain/Portugal, Italy and Poland
- A Corporate, Uniform Version for all countries
- A Version per Functional Level, i.e. sales representatives, product management, sales management, key account management, trans national account management, customer services, internal trainers
- A version per Competency Level, when applicable
3. What benefits did the client find?
The client benefited from the European network of itim consultants and their local business partners, in case an itim colleague could not provide a certain competence. The client had one contact for central coordination in Europe. People within the firm developed a ‘common language’ when dealing with intercultural business issues.
The desired pro-active attitude developed over time as a consequence of gradually embedding the technical parts of the different programmes in the organisation.
The client discovered that ‘being cultural competent’ lead to competitive advantages
4. What is happening next?
All newly hired people with international tasks, authorities and or responsibilities go through an intercultural management programme.
5. Learning points for our client