Canada’s Largest Telecom Builds Stronger Teams With PI


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Learn how the Mobile Sales Division for one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies adopted the Predictive Index® (PI®) System and the Selling Skills Assessment Tool™ (SSAT) to build a high performing sales culture by strengthening teams, establishing individual employee development plans and securing measurable ROI on sales training investments.

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Canada’s Largest Telecom Builds Stronger Teams With PI

  1. 1. Case StudyCanada’s Largest TelecomCanada’s Largest Telecom Builds StrongerTeams and Boosts Sales Training with PIWorldwide® AssessmentsA leading division of Canada’s largest telecommunications company built high performing sales teams byinvesting in innovative solutions founded on results-oriented training, employee development programs andmanagement effectiveness. The core of this success lies in their discovery of assessment tools to guide themevery step of the way.The organization was introduced to the behavioral assessment tool Predictive “ SSAT and PI are key pillars in building a strong salesIndex® (PI®) through a senior executive who had used the tool at his two organization and continueprevious senior level positions including at a multinational technology services to be key contributors to ourcompany. Working with Predictive Success, a PI Worldwide Member firm, sales success.”the Senior Executive first implemented the use of PI with his team of 25 inCanada, then again with his UK team of over 75 professionals. The robust Senior Executive, Canada’s Largest Telecominformation PI provided on individual behaviors and working styles were keycontributing factors to strengthening team dynamics and performance acrossboth geographical regions.The Senior Executive recalls, “I wanted to help my managers get insight into their people and to understand howto build out great development plans.” He continues, “To accomplish this, people need to understand themselvesand each other and the PI training served as a great team building exercise to start the process. The PI canexpertly help people recognize their strengths and weaknesses and then enable them to effectively articulate theirneeds to their managers and develop an effective plan for success.”Building Employee RoadmapsThe positive impact the Predictive Index made to help build stronger teams, improve communication andencourage coaching, proved that PI would be a versatile tool the executive would use throughout his career.At the Telecommunications Company, he introduced the Predictive Index to his team of 775 employees andleveraged the tool to deliver additional value by assessing the behavioral fit between an employee and a specificrole. Using the PI companion job assessment tool, Performance Requirements Options™ (PRO), the SeniorExecutive and his staff would leverage the PRO tool to define the behavioral characteristics needed for successin a particular position. Then, by comparing it with an individual’s PI, the company could clearly determine thefits and gaps and make decisions accordingly. Using the PI and PRO tools for role development and hiring havebecome a Best Practice for his organization, the Executive notes.Today, the Corporation relies on the PI to help managers and their staff ‘get on the same page’ by leveraging PIinsight to establish professional roadmaps for each employee, both new to the organization and veterans. The PIresults are central to all discussions including monthly one-on-one meetings and year-end reviews. This approach,
  2. 2. the Senior Executive says, has made discussions more productive since, “the PI facilitates conversations thatmay have never happened otherwise.” At the time when the Senior Executive joined the company, only about 1%of the employees had development plans in place. Upon implementing the PI, this number grew exponentiallyand today, nearly 100% of employees are on track to follow their individual development plans. The SeniorExecutive adds, “The PI has given us dramatically more insight than we had before. It is a vital tool that helpsour employees achieve success in their careers here.”At the executive level, the Telecommunications Company has added PI information to its formal organizationalchart. Executives’ PIs are now highlighted with their names and titles, “to help people get to know each other,”the Senior Executive explains. Within the management team in particular, he notes, PI has become a commonvernacular.Assessing Selling Skills Informs Effective TrainingAnother key best practice for the organization has been its commitment to delivering targeted coaching andtraining programs to help the sales reps develop the skills they need to be successful. Each year, a significantportion of the budget is spent on sales training programs. The frustration with the existing programs, however, wasthe inability to assess or measure the level of impact these trainings were having on an individual’s developmentand ability to grow with the company. The Senior Executive explains (because the sales function at the companyis very multi-faceted), “We have massively different behaviors within the sales organization. With such a largeemployee base, segmented by business focus and job function, we could not accurately make a direct correlationbetween a training initiative and sales numbers.”To help meet this challenge to measure the skills of their sales force in a meaningful way, Predictive Successintroduced PI Worldwide’s Selling Skills Assessment Tool™ (SSAT), a scenario-based questionnaire thatoutputs a detailed, accurate and objective quantification of a person’s selling abilities on an individual, teamand organizational level. This vital data then drives more focused sales training initiatives to result in maximumimpact and revenue growth. The Senior Executive remarks, “When we began looking for a way to measurethe skills of our sales force, we found many tools that were very complex to implement. The SSAT like the PI,provided powerful insight about how a salesperson’s behavior impacts their performance in an easy to deliverformat.”The ResultsAfter the Company administered the SSAT to the entire sales force, the results created a detailed performancebenchmark for each employee that honed in on their individual strengths and areas for improvement across fivekey areas of sales performance excellence. Then, the employees participated in training targeting those areasidentified for improvement. While the SSAT results varied, they did reveal a common need across sales teams foradditional training in negotiation and presentation skills. The Senior Executive describes, “We found the resultsto be quite accurate and informative with scores closely correlating to the size of the reps’ markets and varyingregion to region.” This ability to pinpoint the differences in skill levels through the SSAT had a dramatic impacton the company’s approach to subsequent training programs. The Senior Executive says, “We learned that youcan’t take a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to improving sales performance. Based on the SSAT data, we were ableto segment our subsequent training to make sure we were delivering the right training to the right people in theright ways.”
  3. 3. The SSAT results also identified a group of individuals who all scored exceptionally high on the SSAT. Theseindividuals clearly had very different strengths and challenges that needed to be addressed differently. Thisdiscovery prompted the creation of an “Elite Program” aimed to recognize and reward individuals who performstrongly in the field and earn high scores on the SSAT. This group, currently composed of 25 stellar sales people,receives a separate budget to invest in training programs that they deem appropriate for their development.Six months later, the reps completed SSAT retests to measure the effectiveness of the sales training in action;there was an aggregate score increase of 6% which translated into significant business results. According to theSenior Executive, “We are really proud of the 6% lift. In fact, we had strong growth in 2010 which continuesthrough 2011. The SSAT is a strong contributor to this success and it has become part of our cultural change.”In fact, based on the initial success of using the SSAT, the corporate division forecasts significant cost savings forthe company’s training initiatives going forward. “In terms of training programs, we had always received guidancein selecting programs but these suggestions were not based on anything tangible.” The Executive continues,“Our past training was also very fragmented and product-centric with no measures in place to determine whetherit was delivering value. The SSAT is a terrific quantitative pointer that, combined with anecdotal feedback, theperception of the business and performance metrics empowers us to make smarter decisions.” “For the very first time in our business, we were able to correlate the impact of the training we delivered in 2010directly to the needs of the business. This gave us a clear picture of the areas where training had made the mostimpact,” says the Senior Executive. As a result, the Corporation acquired important data that has helped it betterplan and make investment decisions for future training programs. For the salespeople, the SSAT experiencewas also very beneficial and motivating. As the Executive describes, “Taking the SSAT provided a good deal ofmotivation for our sales teams; it gave some teeth to wanting to improve sales skills. Now there’s a quantitativemeasure of that sales skill improvement.”The Senior Leader concludes, “The Predictive Index will continue to serve as a valuable tool for our managers tosupport development, team building and communication. SSAT and PI are key pillars in building a strong salesorganization and continue to be key contributors to our sales success.” PI Worldwide® is a global management consulting organization that helps companies be more successful by focusing on their most important asset-their people. Praendex Incorporated, the parent company of PI Worldwide, is publisher of the Predictive Index®, the Selling Skills Assessment Tool™ and Customer-Focused Selling™. © 1998, Praendex Inc., doing business as PI Worldwide. All rights reserved.