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7916EHR People ManagementSemester 2, 2016Assessment Item 3: Timed Case StudyProblems at Build It SuppliesThree months ago, Dave joined NSW-based construction supplies wholesaler, Build It Supplies, asthe new Sales Manager for Queensland to replace the previous sales manager, a highly experiencedsales professional, who had left to join a larger firm. The company has a small HR department inSydney but its role has been traditionally confined to managing the payroll and administration ofpersonnel records. Recruitment and selection of key staff has largely been conducted by Build ItSupplies’ management through personal contacts. Dave had previously been working for one of BuildIt Supplies’ competitors as a sales representative. Although he had no managerial experience, heknew the market well so the Build It Supplies manager that selected him thought he seemed a goodchoice for the job.Build It Supplies has been in business for twenty years and sells construction products to largeconstruction companies through to individual residential builders. There are plans to grow theQueensland market over the next five years and to establish several regional offices. Because of theindustry, most of the staff are men, although there are several women in administrative and customerservice functions. When Dave assumes his role as State Sales Manager he inherits a team of fifteenmale sales representatives who report directly to him. There are also three full-time femaleadministrative staff, and one female and two full-time male customer service officers, however they donot report directly to Dave. Many of the sales reps have experience in the construction industry and atleast half have previously been a builder or some other trade, such as a plumber. The sales reps have individual targets and remuneration for the sales reps is based on a combinationof a modest wage and attractive bonus. The sales reps are paid a bonus based on their individualannual sales and each year at the Christmas lunch the bonuses are awarded and the individualamount each sales rep receives is disclosed to everyone. The purpose of this has been to celebrateachievement and encourage a high performance culture. The sales rep team members are all prettygood performers, however since Dave joined the company, sales have gone down. Dave believes thisis due to a recent decline in construction in Brisbane, and thinks that in the New Year construction willpick up and so will sales. Dave isn’t looking forward to the looks on his sales reps faces though whenthey receive their annual bonus in a couple of weeks time, which for most of them will be the lowest insix years. Dave is really worried about a few of his sales reps who have had very low sales recently and thinksit’s more than just the construction downturn. One sales rep, in particular, is Barry who was hired bythe previous manager and was a personal friend of the previous manager. Dave has been keeping aneye on Barry since he got here. Barry does not always meet his sales targets, and is occasionally lateto work. After 2 months Dave is convinced that Barry doesn't really understand the job, even thoughhe is the oldest in age and one of the longest serving employees. His product knowledge is notalways current and he appears incompetent at using a computer and the company’s internal softwareprograms that all employees are expected to use. Although he has good relationships with hisestablished clients, he seems unable to build new client relationships. Dave wonders why Barrycannot just get on with it, like the other sales representatives, and wonders if maybe he is too old forthe job. Dave has been reluctant to talk to Barry about this until recently but now has had enough. Hedecides that Barry has to go! He tells Barry what he thinks of his performance in no uncertain termsand threatens him with dismissal if he does not improve. Barry resigns and departs the same day.
A year later things have not improved. Dave has personally head hunted a replacement for Barry andfired and replaced another member of the original sales team but the latest recruits are not performingany better than their predecessors and the team’s morale is sinking – along with their sales results!The all-Caucasian male sales reps are very competitive with each other, often “stealing” other salesreps’ customers. Over the past year Dave has been reprimanded several times for bullying and firingstaff without good reason or sufficient evidence, landing the organisation in one case in expensivelegal proceedings. The administrative and customer service officers have also been dissatisfied anddon’t like the way Dave speaks to them. The female customer service officer, who had been studyingmarketing at TAFE part time, left after not being considered by Dave for an internal promotion to fillthe sales rep position.Dave’s boss finally calls him in and warns him that if he does not rebuild relationships with his teamand improve their performance within the next two months he will have to leave. Frustrated andunable to see how he can improve the team’s performance, Dave decides to leave the organisationthe same day, saying in his brief exit interview that he cannot cope with the stress and pressure.Since Dave’s departure, Build It Supplies has found it difficult to fill the role of Sales ManagerQueensland and a member of the sales team has to manage the role on a temporary basis. Theorganisation has decided it needs to find a permanent replacement for Dave and that it probablyshould try more orthodox recruitment and selection methods than it has in the past. The new SalesManager will need to have the capacity to build a high performance culture and improve the morale ofthe team. Hoping to get it right this time, the HR department has put together the followinginformation: Main responsibilities Manages sales of the company’s products and services within a defined geographic area. Ensuresconsistent, profitable growth in sales revenues through positive planning, deployment andmanagement of sales personnel. Identifies objectives, strategies and action plans to improve short-and long-term sales and earnings.Key Accountabilities / Duties1.Collaborates with senior management and others in establishing and recommending the mostrealistic sales goals for the company.2.Manages an assigned geographic sales area to maximize sales revenues and meet corporateobjectives. 3.Performs sales activities on major accounts and negotiates sales price and discounts.4.Establishes and manages effective programs to hire, compensate, coach, appraise and trainsales personnel and sales support staff. 5.Accurately forecasts annual, quarterly and monthly revenue streams. Selection Criteria1.10 years' relevant experience in sales and/or management. 2.Experience in preparing sales budgets and targets, analysing sales patterns and providingadvice and feedback on effective sales strategies 3.Capacity to provide timely, accurate and insightful sales reports to senior management. 4.Demonstrated ability to provide leadership in a sales team and well-developed interpersonalskills. 5.Ability to handle stressful working conditions, short timeframes and demanding customers. Compulsory Questions:
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