For many multinationals, China is a difficult sales environment, but an absolutely critical one. Multinationals cannot ignore the expansion of new consumer markets in the country, but many are struggling to figure out how to sell products in a vast region with a remarkably diverse set of sales channels, consumer preferences, and economic strata. And to keep up with these consumer markets and a distinct shortage of capable salespeople, multinationals in China must telescope sales management training — often a five-year process in the West — into as little as 18 months.
To thrive in this environment, multinational sales chiefs must follow a dual-pronged strategy. First, they must upgrade sales teams by addressing such fundamental issues as recruitment, development, retention, and advancement — with customized approaches reformatted for the specific needs of doing business in China at this specific moment in the market’s development. Second, and perhaps more important, sales chiefs must recognize that none of these issues can be wrestled to the ground unless they identify and then make exceptional use of the unique skills of what we call Pride Builders, master motivators able to achieve unprecedented team performance by tapping into profound insights about what uniquely drives each individual. Only Pride Builders can enhance a sales team development strategy sufficiently to transform Chinese salespeople into inventive, driven, and self-starting sales reps who can deftly take on any number of new consumer challenges. All organizations have at least a handful of these individuals, but almost none systematically learn from — and leverage — what they do. Building capabilities among many sales leaders and representatives quickly enough to achieve a company’s strategic objectives requires the “magic” of what Pride Builders do.