Get What You Need, Not What You Want

A Purple Voodoo Case Study

The Story:

A premium branded, privately-held manufacturing company wanted to develop a training program for their account managers. They recognized that attracting, developing and retaining top talent was critical to their continued success. The account manager role was highly technical requiring bright and well-educated team members. New hires were trained on technical elements and processes but were given only guidance on the selling process. The managers had relied on their personal experience to train and coach the team, but the existing approach was inconsistent and based largely on job descriptions.

The issues would seem to be rooted in a lack of consistency and detail in the selling process. Completing interviews with the management team, the account managers and their peers identified more fundamental challenges. In this case, the lack of a framework around which skills and knowledge needed to be structured meant that the transparency, predictability and clarity of a broader competency management model didn’t exist.  It led to inconsistency in the development of behavioral skills within the job scope; (e.g. communication skills, conflict management, priority/time management, leading others, selling skills). This framework was also needed for more detailed performance evaluations, and development strategies which support a clear and consistent approach to succession planning.

The Process:


  • Existing gap by conducting 360° assessments – Interviewed leaders, peers
  • Priority skill and behavioural opportunities


  • Competency framework for account managers
  • Articulated talent strategy
  • Annual learning and development plan for Account Management Team
  • Custom programs for small groups and individuals


  • Annual learning and development for the team
  • Executive coaching for key members throughout the year
  • Tools for decision-making and diagnosis of root performance gaps

The Results:

What the company thought they needed was skills training to attract and retain top talent. The performance development system they now have enables strategic talent decisions that supported their pipeline and succession planning leading to more engaged employees. The competency framework has given the team the tools to be more effective, more engaged and more collaborative.

The Take-Away:

A strategic view of the business linked performance management, competency, and hiring together. It supported objective hiring and promotion decisions that can be lost in the urgency of filling vacancies. The impact of the program led to a better understanding of company culture, clearer development plans and greater retention of employees.