In 2004, Infosys’ leadership plotted a course for growing the company from $1 billion in annual revenues to $3 billion by 2007. To meet its goal, Infosys needed to build relationships with clients on a more strategic level in order to sell more complex solutions. That meant moving to a new sales strategy, and required salespeople and sales leaders who could execute that strategy.
The reworking of Infosys’ sales talent management strategy and competency-building capabilities began with a frank accounting of both the behaviors that had traditionally defined successful Engagement Managers (as Infosys refers to its account managers) and Client Services leaders, and of the behaviors that would be required for success in the future. The path to $3 billion demanded that Engagement Managers excel at targeted, proactive selling to clients; at higher-level business value selling; at collaborative, team-based selling; and at selling more complex offerings. The Client Services leaders, meanwhile, needed to consistently apply sales management best practices, provide proactive coaching to team members, and manage based on leading indicators as opposed to after-the-fact outcomes.
With the targets established, Infosys partnered with DDI to translate these ideals into clearly defined, actionable Success ProfilesSM that identified the competencies, experience, knowledge, and personal attributes needed for both the Engagement Manager and Client Services leader positions.
To determine development needs, Infosys used DDI’s 360° feedback tool, Targeted Feedback®, to conduct multirater surveys on a cross-section of salespeople and managers. The results revealed competency areas where the sales organization needed to develop, including Problem Solving, Communication, Negotiation, and Presentation Skills.
To address the identified development needs, in 2005 Infosys created and began offering a series of quarterly, two-day workshops on each of the target development areas. The workshops include areas such as coaching, problem solving, and account management. The workshops are delivered by Infosys’ internal training resources as well as by outside partners. DDI delivers the coaching workshop for managers.
Tripled sales revenues within three years, from $1 billion to $3 billion. An additional $1 billion increase in revenue was realized the following year.
43 percent of company revenues generated from services not offered five years earlier—evidence of Infosys’ growing ability to sell more strategic solutions.
Doubled sales force productivity, with just a 30 percent increase in sales force headcount.