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Problem Solution: Intersect Investments

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Running head: PROBLEM SOLUTION: Intersect Investment Services

Problem Solution: Intersect Investment Services

University of Phoenix

Problem Solution: Intersect Investment Services.

Intersect Investment Services is a financial firm that has been under a tremendous amount of economic pressure for the last four years. After the September 11, 2001 World Trade disaster, customers have become weary in relation to the financial services industry. Intersect's leadership team is in the need of rebuilding their customers relations in order to increase overall revenues and the firm's CEO, Frank Jeffers, feels that this can be made possible with the implementation of anew "customer intimacy" model. Peppers, Rogers, and Hornby state, "A distinguishing characteristic of the customer-intimate firm is its ability to provide a complete solution to each customer's needs rather than focusing on any product's superior features and benefits."

Describe the Situation

Issue and Opportunity Identification

Following the September 11, 2001 disasters, the financial services industry suffered an air of uncertainty. The industry's unstable climate has caused many financial firms to lose their client's trust and Wall Street's credibility. In order to weather the storm, investment companies need to offer an array of up to date products and services combined with expert financial advisors. For the last four years Intersect Investment Services, a financial firm that has been struggling to survive, neglected to make a strategic transformation. Finally, realizing their inadequacies, Intersect's CEO Frank Jeffers identified a new vision: "Provide a broad set of products and services to consumer and small business customers using a model of customer intimacy that will build long-term relationships based on trust and value to the customer.

CEO Jeffers understands that the implementation of this new vision will be no easy task as it will require significant changes in the current structure of sales. Currently, he has had to terminate and replace his Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales due to the lack of support that he provided for the new philosophy. The firm's new Executive Vice President, Janet Angelo, now holds the responsibility of bringing the sales department in line with the new "customer intimacy" model. If Angelo is successful, Intersect's brand image will be improved thus regaining Wall Street's trust and long-term customer relationships developed.

I have identified the following Issues/Opportunities in relation to the Intersect Investment Services scenario:

* Twelve-month Transformation Deadline. Intersect's CEO Frank Jeffers has given his new Executive Vice President of Marketing and sales, Janet Angelo, a twelve-month deadline to move the firm from a traditional selling to a "customer intimacy" model. The new model requires major organizational restructuring and although Angelo has successfully implemented these changes with her previous employers, the changes were gradual over a three year period. Angelo's salary and continued tenure at Intersect depends on her successfully making these changes in the specified time frame.

Angelo has an opportunity to prove herself as a true transformational leader--one that inspire others to follow her.

* Employee Support/Retention. Although CEO Jeffers has vocalized the new vision using the "customer intimacy" model to all Intersect employees, alignment with the vision does not exist. Sales people have been trained on the new model yet they refuse to use it and the departmental leaders admittedly are not supportive of the model. Previously, the sales team have been trained to increase sales thus calling on more customers each day. Now due to the new vision, sales people are being told that they need to become the customer's trusted advisor thus spending more time with them on each call establishing a relationship. It is difficult for the sales team to believe that this new model will be effective.

An opportunity is present for the CEO to see if his current staff can adapt to the new changes that are being proposed. If the leadership team thinks that everything should be easy and according to the norm then what do they expect for those that they are leading? In this scenario, Intersect's transformational leader is its Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales Janet Angelo. Rees states, "Successful leadership begins with a vision, which reflects the shared purpose" (2006). After developing the vision, it takes energy and commitment to 'sell' the idea to others, as few people immediately buy into what they may view as a radical vision.

* Rebuilding Customer Trust/Loyalty. Intersect has lost a profitable customer, Innovative Building solutions, due to the account manager not taking enough initiative to discuss with the customer the new services that the firm was now providing. Intersect's customers have their savings and future at stake when they enter into a contract with the firm and therefore they want to trust them. Currently, the firm has no "trust issues" but recent sales reveal that they are yet to be considered trusted advisors.

The customer intimacy model presents the opportunity for Intersect to realize growth, sustain competitive advantage, and profit.

* Benchmarking. In attempt to align every department with the new vision, Angelo will need to provide current staff members with relative benchmarking data concerning the "customer intimacy" model. Understandably, staff members do not want to see data concerning how successful the model was when implemented by an IT solutions provider or from the telecommunications industry. Therefore, Angelo will need to provide supportive benchmarking documentation to her staff that is relative to the "customer intimacy" model in use by other firms within the financial services industry.

This is an opportunity to show employees that firms that operate in the same manner in which Intersect does have implemented the "customer intimacy" model with great success. Benchmarking can also provide a formula, so to speak, as to the procedure that should be followed when implementing the new model.

Stakeholder Perspectives/Ethical



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