The birth of a new generation of sales leaders

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Amit Aggarwal

Senior Vice President, Training

July 29, 2016 -

What you plant now will harvest later – Og Mandino

There is really nothing more satisfying than planning for something, laying the ground for it – and watching it reach fruition. Genpact has been known historically as “Genpact University" by young people seeking jobs in our operating centers in countries like India and Romania. We earned this reputation because of our intense focus on training and learning in the company, and on internal promotions. Over the last few years, we have expanded this to build our sales talent pipeline in our client markets in USA and UK, amongst others. And we intend to keep growing it.

Introducing Genpact's Sales Development Program
In November 2012, we launched our first Sales Development Program (SDP) – a program that hand-picks high-potential students from prestigious universities and hones their skills and talents in order to arm them with the ability to engage with very senior stakeholders and work in a truly global company.

We hired 16 bright young students from MBA schools in Europe and USA and they did a one-year leadership development program with us. SDP1 laid the groundwork for creating a potential salesforce that had been mentored by Business Development Leaders who are key stakeholders and functional experts. They were exposed to multiple verticals, sales events, domains and delivery centers. Cumulatively, the participants met over 130 different clients. They received SEP Immersion and SEPSM (Smart Enterprise Processes) panel assessment, as well as LSS (Lean Six Sigma) training. Fast-forwarding to today, about 50% of them are now successfully doing sales roles at Genpact.

SDP2: Learning , Changing, Adapting.
With every first step comes great learning and insights to improve. We stayed very close to the journey of these bright individuals and captured feedback at all stages. This helped us get deeper insights into what was missing and what would make the program more robust and relevant. What was missing was measurement metrics to evaluate mentorship and Deep Dive into operations within 6 months. SDP2 was re-designed in partnership with Franklin Covey and launched in July 2014. It had a one-year rigorous program which utilized a 3-pronged approach of training, coaching, and experiential experiences. It aimed at developing participants so that they could move into a Global Relationship Manager role once they graduated successfully.

SDP 2 had 16 new MBA graduates from top global business schools. 50% were women. During their first 9 months, the group had several in-person training workouts at various Genpact offices and delivery centers around the world. This involved visiting sites in the US, India and Romania to tour the delivery centers there as well as participate in focused training programs. While the 1st phase of SDP2 focused on the participants' integration into Genpact and formal training, in the 2nd phase, participants moved into more account-based roles with invaluable on-the-job training and client interactions, under the continued direction and support of their mentors and buddies. Participants were also assigned to their post-program account(s). Learning continued with a focus on end-to-end responsibilities of the sales cycle, including implementing GCI (Generating Client Impact) sales methodologies at each step. 15 of the 16 candidates are currently successfully doing global relationship manager roles. I am so proud to add that Alison Van Vark just won a 'Women in Sales Award' for Insurance Sales and Jessica Gasthalter, AVP, Global Relationship Manager - Genpact was a finalist! Here's to many more such achievements on the road to learning and change!

Laying the ground for the next generation
The success of SDP2 has resulted in plans to kick off our SDP3 in September 2016. We are now broad-basing it to include US/Europe/Indian B-schools like NYU, INSEAD, IIMs etc, as well as talented employees from within Genpact. We have expanded the total number of participants to 21 globally. They will go through a rigorous 18-month program with dedicated operations rotation, solutions rotation and finally a sales rotation – which will help them learn the nuances of operations excellence as well as working with leaders on-the-job.

We are looking forward to creating a new batch of incredibly talented Global Relationship Managers – a young force to contend with, who are equipped with truly special skills and abilities. They are the future. And I am so excited about the potential changes they are going to bring about in the Genpact of the future, initially in sales and then as a leadership development pipeline for the company.