Case study: Improved sales productivity in retail

About the client

Our client works in the FMCG sector and deals with a product, which market is greatly volatile, and it faced a lot of changes in recent years. Their Hungarian office is part of an international company chain with bases in over 130 countries and with more than 40 000 employees. In Hungary, they employ around one hundred people and the company delivers to the whole area of the country. Over the last 12 years, their market share, regarding their main product, has grown from 2.9% in 2008 to nearly 18% in 2019. With this kind of capacity in expansions and growth in their sector, they represent one of the fastest-growing companies in our country, with great potential to improve sales productivity.

The client’s challenge

While the company’s growth progressed at a good pace and it showed great potential in the past 10-12 years, due to the special characteristics of their services and because of important national regulations, they experienced new challenges in the changing environment. The main indicator of the emerging problems was the sign of slow development and declining profitability in areas, where previously they generated great results.

They successfully identified that their sales team had difficulties adapting to the new working conditions, where their skills, methods, and connections, which had worked well in the past, now did not produce such successes. The client recognized that the soft skills of the sales team and the sales managers need focused development. As a first step towards this goal, the company wanted to assess the employees along with unified competencies so they can identify the important strengths and developmental areas. After this, based on the results, they could move on to create efficient training and coaching programs both on the individual and on the group level.

Our solution

To evaluate and then develop competencies like Analytical thinking, Communicational skills, Strategic thinking, Openness or Developing others, etc., one of the best approach is to: 1, analyze the participants’ general, everyday behavioral trends; 2, observe the participants’ performance during individual and group situations that correspond to the competencies necessary for success in the given position. As we could provide the client with this efficient and complex two-step solution, we were able to support them during this developmental project and created a fitting procedure for them to assess their 42 employees in the sales department and 5 sales managers in only two months.

We worked together with the client from May to June and during this period, we planned, designed, and implemented the assessment which was followed by the personal feedbacks and manager presentations too. First, we assembled and defined the list of the important competencies with the client for both groups. Next, we used the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) and the Hogan Development Survey (HDS) to got to know the participants’ strengths and developmental areas, and the managers’ risk factors, which can appear under stress. Finally, to get a second perspective about the employees’ competencies and to observe them during work in various situations, we constructed a Development Center (DC) with tasks, which objective were to simulate the sales team’s daily, job-related challenges. We also expanded the managers’ DC with a Business Simulation.

With the combination of these two tools (Personality Test and Development Center), our 7 consultants, who took part in the project, could successfully create not just personalized developmental suggestions for every sales employee and manager, but could also show areas of growth potential for the whole department.


With our methodology, we successfully assessed and explored the necessary soft skills of the participants and appointed developmental goals for the sales team and their managers. For the competencies, which needed improvement based on the results, we could suggest specific training and coaching sessions as long-term solutions. Thanks to these actions, the client gave us feedback about improved employee productivity, motivation, and a promising, upward tendency in their profits. As the next step, to re-evaluate the participants’ competencies and to measure the efficiency of the developmental processes, the client used 360° and Hogan surveys. In the end, we discussed and gave feedback to the participants about these results too, so the follow-up analysis could be all-round.

Remote work has started to become the new normal, and with that, the skills and competencies required to succeed have changed. How do we decide who would be the right fit for working in an online environment? How do we identify and develop key talents who can keep your company going? Join us at our next webinar to find out!

Join us on our next webinar!
“Assessing the online future”
October 1, 2020  2:00 PM

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