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pcl case study

HPI shapes the MINI sales force the issue

The manufacturers of the new MINI were anxious to recruit a sales force particularly suited to this key selling role. The new MINI was considered to be a unique style of product and it was recognised that selection of an appropriate sales force would be critical to the success of the project.

the solution

Research into effective selling by PCL in the UK and by Hogan Assessment Systems in the US has found that the personality characteristics that impact on performance depend on the type of sales role in question - there is more than one kind of “Sales Potential”. Retail selling, selling technical products, call centre sales, selling life style products, for example, all call for different personal qualities. The new MINI was to be marketed in a very specific way, reflecting the character of the product, and the personality of the sales force needed to bear some resemblance to this marketing approach. PCL’s HPI archive includes data on many different sales roles. Having crafted an HPI profile modelled on the personality characteristics considered to fit the marketing strategy, we were able to run this against various sales groups in the PCL archive. This allowed us to estimate “closeness of fit” with the required characteristics. The model proved, as expected, to be closer to a “life style product” selling profile than was customary for this manufacturer, whose other product (i.e. BMW) places considerable emphasis on technical quality and innovation.

the results

The HPI can be configured to capture the characteristics of the most effective employees. The item clusters that distinguish the best from the rest carry most of the predictive power for any role, and can be used to build an HPI Customised Scale. A MINI Sales scale was built in this way and incorporated into an HPI Suitability Report for MINI Sales applicants. We were able to put the MINI Sales assessment process online and this dramatically simplified the recruitment and selection process for this client.