Team Case Study
My team is comprised of a group of individuals specialized in relating to people in the automobile industry, mainly car dealers. Our team’s goal is to work with dealers and to help them understand how to effectively sell vehicles, sight unseen, to internet buyers. These are buyers that will never even see the vehicle or step on the dealer’s lot. We have to teach the dealer how to market and relate to a customer well enough to convince them to buy a car that they will never touch, taste, smell, see, or test drive. In the growing age of internet fraud this task becomes difficult, we now have to teach them how to make a customer trust them enough to send money to them, without ever meeting them. The Purpose, and long term goal, of this project is to drive the amount of listings of vehicles for sales on the site in a way that will help us meet our yearly goals of high growth.
In 2003 during study of sales team environments, Amy Dewey, the director of agency and association marketing for The American College said, "Different personalities come out in any type of team," she says. "You want to be as efficient and effective as possible, but there's going to be that social dimension that may prevent something from being as effective as it can be."
This was proven to be true to me when a member of the team had signed an account in a territory that belonged to another team member. This had happened to be an account that had been a previous customer of the account owner in a different region. The dealership contact had moved to a dealership in this other territory, which did not belong to the account owner, and wanted to start a new account, and deal with the same representative he had been dealing with for years. The members whose region it was transferred the account to them since it was their area, without notifying the account owner of what she was doing. The account owner found out and transferred the account back while she was not in the office, but mentioned it out loud to the rest of the team. A new member of this team, that had over heard the account owner complaining, went to the member that owned the region and exaggerated the story.
This impacted the team in the fact that there were now some hurt feelings between these two team members that had worked together for years, and a new team member was manipulating the situation into a highly fueled argument. Before this situation we had had a very conducive team environment that was now disturbed by a conflict that could have been avoided by better communication.
This also impacted productivity, everyone was so concerned with the turmoil and who was saying what behind who’s back that they were not focused on work. The current argument spawned the team off into two sides that spent their time whispering about each other. The situation was at least an unneeded distraction for the office.