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Case 1.1 : PI Foods Ltd.

Main issues / problems


• Handling the complaints of distributors and retailers
• The role of area sales managers in effective supervision

Question 1
The area sales managers could suggest the following to resolve the problems.
For the problem on distributors’ salespersons not visiting C and D class retailers, instead of
making geographical territories for salespeople handling all types of retailers, the
responsibilities of salespeople should be divided into three groups of retailers. One group of
retailers, viz. Super ‘A’, would be looked after by one set of salespeople; the second group of
retailers, viz. ‘A’ and ‘B’ class, would be looked after by another set of salespeople and the
‘C’ and ‘D’ class retailers would be visited by the third group of salespeople. Each group’s
sales targets will include sales volume (depending on the sales potential) and also the
frequency of visits. These targets should be reviewed regularly by area sales managers to
ensure all types of retailers are visited regularly by the distributors’ salespeople.

The second problem of shortage of supplies to some distributors can be resolved by keeping
buffer stocks at the factory and distribution centres to take care of incorrect sales forecasting
and production constraints.

Question 2
Yes, What Ramesh said was correct, because complaints from intermediaries, if not resolved
promptly, would lead to dissatisfaction of the retailers and distributors. This may force the
retailers to sale competitors’ products, resulting in the company losing the market share and
the leadership position.

Case 2.2 : R. K. Consultants – Selling Consultancy Services.

Main issues / problems


• The sales process in selling business services
• Importance of relationship marketing in B2B selling

Question 1
The pre-approach of Arun Pande of R. K. Consultants was appropriate as he not only
collected information from the website of the prospect (i.e. 2M Hydraulics), but also visited
the prospect at Bangalore to understand the needs better. Only after collecting all the relevant
information, the proposal was sent to the prospect. This was a proper way of handling a
business prospect.

Question 2
The presentation method I would select, if I were Arun Pande, was “need – satisfaction” with
FAB (features, advantages, and benefits) approach. This method would be tailored to the
needs of 2M – Hydraulics, and would show how the benefits offered by R. K. Consultant’s
proposal can solve the prospect’s problems better than competitors.
Negotiation style would be “I win, you win”, which is the most appropriate style with current
and prospective customers. Closing technique would be selected depending on the sales
situation

Case 12. 1: Snow White Paper Co (2)

Problem definition:
SW depends on selling agents for its sales. It has no direct contact with its customers. It
cannot plan its sales properly nor its profitability.

Question:
23% of its business is to Government agencies. SW can make efforts to improve the share of
this business.
All other customers are printing and publishing establishments. These customers are being
controlled by the agents. SW is not even aware of who these customers are, what they buy and
what are their requirements. The agents would prefer that SW does not get to know this
information. The uncertainty affects SW results and profits. The first thing SW has to do is to
get to know its customers.
Some action points which arise are:
• Use the sales team to do a survey of all major markets to contact all types of printing
and writing paper users.
• List down the full details of each customer – location, requirements, types of paper
used, prices paid, from whom bought in the last year, delivery requirements etc
• While meeting the customers, highlight to them the advantages of buying from SW
• Use the selling agents more for financing the credit part of the business
• Sales people to regularly call on the customers at a frequency depending on ABC
classification of the customers
• Focus on customer requirements in terms of service and deliver customized service

Lessons learnt:
• Need to know customers and their requirements
• Over dependence on any type of channel partner may not be beneficial in the long
run.

Case 14.3: Aswin Healthcare Ltd (AHL) Case

Problem definition:
AHL has over 600 distributors, 4 RMs, 15 ASMs and 150 PSRs. Their customers include
hospitals, nursing homes, chemists, labs and general stores. As the manner of working and
working hours of the customers vary, the GSM has decided to change the customer mix of the
100 PSRs in the major cities. You are to comment on the soundness of the proposal in
ensuring better customer service.

Question 1 & 4:
The suggested route of breaking up the list of customers to be called upon by the PSRs is in
the right direction.
However, there is a small flaw in the proposal. The groups of PSRs has to be divided into 2
groups and not into 3.
The two groups of PSRs will be:
• PSRs in group 1 will call on doctors and chemists as these two customers are related.
Moreover, the time utilization for these two types of customers is complimentary.
Unless the same group meets doctors and chemists, it is not possible to keep track of
what doctors are prescribing and which chemist is honouring these prescriptions.
• PSRs in group 2 will only call on hospitals, nursing homes and labs as all of them
have the same manner of dealing with company reps. This group can also plan to use
their time more productively as they know the right time to contact the customers.

Question 2 & 3:
It really does not matter as to how many company salesmen a distributor has to deal with if it
is only 2 or 3.
With the suggested revised solution, the distributor has only two company salesmen to deal
with. The PSR for doctors and chemists is the same and can co-ordinate his work well.

Lessons learnt:
• Beat plans of salespeople and distributors should take into account the types of
customers to be covered. There should be no wasted time or criss-crossing in the
territories.
• Beat plans are to be planned to maximize calls per day and the number of productive
calls out of these