«As a country manager, I have to implement global strategies in my own country.
There is less and less creative flexibility.»

An enterprise with its headquarters in the USA, one of the top players in the industry, had to adapt its business model due to high pressure from the competition. Customer relations, key account management and the structures in sales were completely rethought starting with customer requirements.  Focus on the customer. The slides had a convincing effect. The big disappointment came with the first implementation in a European country.

azimut was hired to investigate the «gap» between the Group’s requirement and national resistance and to participate in a constructive way for the implementation. In the first phase, we conducted interviews with salespersons and key account managers. It turned out that neither the necessity nor the objectives of the new processes had been understood. There was an impression in the sales department that customer relationships that had been built up over years and internal responsibility and reporting structures were to be destroyed.

In a second phase, we organized workshops with salespersons in different countries in order to give transparency to the backgrounds of the decisions made by the enterprise on the basis of key performance indicators, market developments and the cost/benefit calculations. Afterwards, we were able to specifically define the creative freedom of the parties involved within the requirements. That was the step towards «clarity» (What is stipulated and what can we define?).

The third phase was working out national implementation plans in which everyone who was affected was able to participate. Only that way was a “buy-in” possible. Our experience was confirmed here once again, that employees can rapidly design new structures and procedures successfully if they see the meaning behind them.

The result was effective national implementation of the Group’s strategy. It was borne by the “alignment” of motivated salespersons. Ultimately, they are the ones who know their markets and customers the best.