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Global Team Based Sales Force

You are one of four regional Human Resources Managers employed by Ace Consulting, an international consulting firm. You have been assigned to the International Sales division. Currently, one HR Manager is assigned to each of the four global regions: the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America. You report to the Corporate HR Director.

It has become apparent to management that their global customers are critical to their future growth. If there is a need to serve any locations of a customer in another region, there is no good contact point or process to handle it. This gets confusing and is not effective for the larger customers. There is a desire to greatly improve the communication and coordination across regions. Top Ace management has decided that the sales force needs to be organized in teams across regions to better serve these critical global customers.

The HR Director has given you and the other three HR managers the task of developing and implementing a new global-team-based sales force. You will need to design the appropriate team make-up, determine the best way to staff these teams, provide guidance on developing a consistent global approach, design the team-building tools needed to establish these teams, and conduct the necessary training. You also need to design a compensation program that will support the team concept, give incentive to the best performers, and maintain a stable workforce.

You are now in a planning meeting with the four HR Managers and the Corporate HR director.

Ace Consulting will need to use approximately 1/2 of their current staff to continue servicing only customers in their own region. The remaining sales force will serve the needs of the global customers that are part of the new strategic direction. Use all materials at your disposal, the Library and the Internet, as well as your own business understanding, to address at least two of the following questions/areas you are discussing in the meeting. Identify the criteria you would use to select members for the global sales teams.

1. Decide which type of team or combination of types of teams would best serve the needs of Ace Consulting. How would you begin to build such a team?

2. How you would begin the process of building trust on these newly formed global teams? How would you compensate for their geographic remoteness? Include ideas from your own experience where you saw good teamwork because team members trusted each other.

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1. Decide which type of team or combination of types of teams would best serve the needs of Ace Consulting. How would you begin to build such a team?

A team is a group of people working actively together to achieve a common purpose for which they are all accountable (Schermehorn, 2005, G-12). Teams have always been a key factor responsible for the development of any organization, be it a business organization or be it a trust or a charitable organization or be it an essential service like hospitals and education or be it the functioning of governments. In fact a lot of International development and understanding is achieved only through a sense of team spirit among various countries.

Essential Characteristics of a team

Clear Purpose
The most important thing in the success of a team is that the purpose of the team is clearly laid out and each member of the team understands his role within the team towards attaining the goal. This task of communicating the purpose with clarity is usually that of the team leader. It is his responsibility to ensure this awareness among his team.

Effective leadership
If there is an absence of cohesiveness in such a team, there would be a lot of finger pointing and trading and counter-trading of charges. The marketing guy may feel that the accounts guy is too slow and too conservative and the team is losing out on valuable time. On the other hand, the accounts guy may feel that the marketing guy is too hasty and does not consider other implications of his decisions. The production guy may feel that the demands of marketing are unreasonable while accounts is trying to cut costs and save money. In all these clashes the objective of the team gets blurred and the team loses out on its goal. This also leads to an interdepartmental conflict with an "us" versus "them" posture.

A lot would depend on the leader that the group selects. An individual who is generally respected throughout the organization is should be made the leader so that he can hold the team together. This kind of an individual will be respected by all irrespective of his functional role. For the team to be effective, the leader has to take a consultative approach as all members expect their opinions be respected as part of the ...

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