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Uop Mba 520 Intersect Problem Solution Paper Week 6

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Running head: PROBLEM SOLUTION: INTERSECT INVESTMENTS

Problem Solution: Intersect Investments

Eric C. Allen

University of Phoenix

Problem Solution: Intersect Investments

Intersect Investments is falling into the same pit of slumped growth that it sees all around it in the market. Its customers are looking for something different and the company's CEO, Frank Jeffers, has a vision for giving the customers what they are looking for and regaining the company's competitiveness. This vision requires a change in the way the company operates, particularly within its sales organization, where strong roots exist in the age-old way of running the business: if a salesperson wants to increase sales then he or she must increase the number of customers with whom he or she interacts.

The purpose of this analysis is to examine the key obstacles facing Jeffers and his organization from implementing this change and the opportunities these issues provide. Fundamental concepts such as motivation through goal setting, external forces of change, organization development leading to organizational effectiveness, continuous reinforcement, and the influence of past experiences will be addressed in the context of this situation and will form the basis for the examination of opportunities. These opportunities will then aid in the understanding of problem and the path forward for Intersect to achieve its vision. Utilizing benchmarking research will enable the incorporation of best practices in the development of an implementation plan that will help Intersect achieve success with its vision.

Situation Analysis

Issue and Opportunity Identification

The decades old philosophy of sales said that if a salesperson wants to increase his or her sales volume, he or she needs only to be efficient with his or her time with the customer, decreasing call-handling time and increasing the number of customer contacts. The law of probabilities then takes over and ensures sales will increase. While this model was effective for many of the seasoned salespeople employed with Intersect Investments, the market is now gearing more to salespeople who establish long-term relationships with their customers and create a model of trust that enable the customers to feel secure with their investments. This shift is creating tough competition for those firms still operating under the guise of throwing as much as you can in as little amount of time at as many customers as you can contact.

The realization that came to Frank Jeffers was that the modern market in which the company operates had morphed into one in which companies simply selling investment services were a dime a dozen. What would set Intersect apart was to adopt an innovative model of exchanging their services for the clients' trust. The leadership's inability to communicate that this is a need arising out of a changing market, not simply some new idea with which the company wants to experiment, is causing the organization to falter in its objective.

Because this ideology is rooted in the practices of the existing sales force, the sales organization by and large is not supporting the company's new vision. They do not understand how it can realistically be achieved. As part of the SMART measure of a goal, the goal must be "perceived" as attainable. The sales staff perceives their objective of customer intimacy to be in disparity with a second sustaining objective of increasing sales. Kelly Robertson tells us in her "Secrets to Motivating Your Employees," that as part of motivation, the goal must be "important to the person responsible for achieving it" (Robertson, 2002).

The intention of the customer intimacy model is to show the sales staff a path for increasing volume of sales, and revenue, by encouraging the customers to spend more with the company rather than finding more customers to spend with the company. This process helps the organization through increased revenue and aids the well-being of the "members" through helping them achieve their sales targets and earning more money with the company.

Further creating opposition within the sales force is the obligatory rivalry between the sales and marketing organizations. The quickness with which the marketing organization jumped on board with this new vision seems to solidify the sales organization's belief system that marketing does not know how to provide the tools needed to meet customers' and salespeople's expectations.

Stakeholder Perspectives/Ethical Dilemmas

The stakeholders can be divided into 5 distinct groups: the CEO of Intersect, the members of the leadership supporting his vision, those leaders who do not, the employees who support the customer intimacy model, and those who do not, as well the customers from whom the demand for the customer intimacy model is derived. These groups present two sets of conflicting values to the organization.

The organization as a whole is divided between those individuals who support this need for change and the vision for making this change successful, and those who feel the vision itself is wrought with contradictory philosophies for achieving the company's ultimate goal of increasing revenue through increased sales. This latter group is made up mostly of individuals who work closely with the customer base, and yet they do not seem to be catching on to the fact that the customers are asking for the very aspects of the customer intimacy model. Interacting with a customer does not take on the proper meaning if one does not listen to the customer, and this is the very cause of the disconnect between this group of employees and the company's vision. Their goal is to reduce call-handling times to maximize the number of calls they can make in the finite time allotted in a day. Because they are in a rush to move on to the next call, they do not care to listen to the customers' needs and are thereby missing out on extraordinary opportunities for increasing sales with their existing customer base.

Problem Statement

The past experiences and philosophies of the sales force at Intersect have created an obstacle for implementing the changes needed to achieve the organization's new strategic vision. The process for transforming the organizations within Intersect involves managing change around the concepts of organizational communication,

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