1. Evaluate the pros and cons of the new strategy
While the new strategy may appear like a positive move, it has both pros and cons. Among the primary notable advantages of the new strategy is that it introduces an aspect of motivation. The strategy motivates the sales representatives that are allocated accounts falling within the first three categories. This is because these accounts are associated with huge sales volumes – a situation that implies higher commissions for the sales representatives. The second advantage is the reality that the new strategy will boost the total sales of Hops Distributors, Inc. when allocating the sales representatives to the new divisions; James Williams allocated the category four accounts to the best sales representative. What this implies is the actuality that the poorly performing accounts will be managed well hence has the capacity to perform better. The third advantage is the reality that the new strategy introduces an aspect of accountability. The sales representatives can be held accountable for the poor performance of the accounts allocated to them.
The primary disadvantage is the fact that the new strategy is unfair in the sense that one sales representative is being allocated to the worst performing category. Ironically, the best performing sales representative is the one assigned to the fourth category, which is not performing well. This lacks an ethical backing. The strategy is quite discriminatory in the sense that the representatives are not subjected to the same working environment. As a matter of fact, working with the top category accounts is quite different from working with the fourth category. Additionally, the strategy can be quite discouraging in the sense that the representative assigned to the fourth category will be demoralized.
2. Has James properly divided the accounts? Why or why not?
James Williams has not appropriately divided the accounts. Apparently, going by all standards of market segmentation, the criterion used by Williams is not justifiable because, he does not take into consideration the aspect of regional demand. Demand is paramount in making marketing decisions (Cowper, 2006). For instance, a small distributor selling beer in a sparsely populated area in the country will not sell the same number of crates as a distributor in the city. The main reason why James’ division is not justifiable is because he uses absolute figures of performance instead of relative performance.
3. What kind of training should Hops implement to facilitate implementation of the new territory approach?
Worth mentioning is the fact that in implementing a new strategy, there is likelihood that interruptions to the normal operations of the business will occur. In order to eliminate the chances of there being such disruptions, the organization should employ a hands-on approach to the training program. In straightforward terms, Hops Distributors Inc should use on-the-job training. This approach will be less disruptive, and will help the trainees grasp the concepts as they work (Mathur, 2006). While off the shelf training may as well help, on the job training is more effective for new strategies.
4. What topics should be included in the training program?
While sales training covers many topics and subjects, there are those ones that are considered most essential for the purposes of a new strategy. These topics are usually related to the function of initiating customer rapport and creating a relationship that will lead to customer loyalty (Mathur, 2006). The topics to be included in the program include the following.
– Negotiation skills
– Need assessment skills
– Sales management
– Accounts management
– Loyalty and retention
– Services after the actual sale
– Customer relationship management
– Presentation and communication skills
Cowper, J. (2006). Sales and marketing for small businesses. Glebe, N. S. W: Pascal Press.
Mathur, P. (2006). Sales and marketing management. Delhi: Isha Books.