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HP: Overhauling a Vast Corporate Sales Force Discussion Questions

HP: Overhauling a Vast Corporate Sales Force Discussion Questions

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HP: Overhauling a Vast Corporate Sales Force Discussion Questions

Question One

Take for instance a scenario where a customer is in need of a digital camera but is not sure which features to look for. Apparently, this customer decides to go to store and seek help from a salesperson. The first salesperson in this case states that he does not specialize in cameras and refers the customer to another attendant. The other attendant happens to be well informed on digital camera matters but only answers a handful of questions before leaving to attend to other matters. This imaginary situation gives us a glimpse of what many business buyers have to go throw when looking to purchase from large corporate suppliers.

This then is the scenario with business technology customers of Hewlett-Packard prior to the takeover of Mark Hurd as CEO a few years back. Before Hurd had taken over management, HP’s profits and revenues were low, and the stock price had flattened. To get the reason behind this, Hurd spoke with more than four hundred corporate customers. What he gathered mostly were problems regarding the company’s corporate force.

Question Two

The new HP sales force structure involves combining its personal and printer computer businesses. The advantage of this strategy involves a more streamlined, performance driven, and faster HP focused on addressing customer needs. The disadvantage of this maneuver comes from the notion that merging to business departments is the company’s reversal. HP separated personal computer business from the printer business, disbanded the customer relations group and moved the sales responsibilities to the product business department. The choice of building sales organization around products or customers has undermined the functions almost all departments of the company. It is not common for a company HP’s size to oscillate between its structures. Vacillating between structures rarely leads to success.

Question Three

When selling to a prospective customer, the process is going to be efficient since the HP sales rep will be equipped with the necessary knowledge regarding the customer’s interests. On the other hand, however, dealing with a long-term established customer will lead to confusion before the customer can understand the new structure. This is because prior to the application of this model, clients had to deal with a number of sales people before a customer could fulfill his or her objective. Overall, the sales process will be take a short time and be efficient since the new sales structure reduced inefficient workers.

Question Four

Because he has an effective sales force, Hurd does not necessarily have to with his HP as much as he does. This is because the new structure has reduced the workforce to a minimum compared to the previous one. In this regard, managing a reduced workforce is less tedious and much easier. A reduced workforce will require minimal follow up hence reducing the number of times Hurd will have to hold regular meetings HP partners.

Question Five

Small is a relative term and Hewlett Packard may not function like a small company. The other departments such as distribution, manufacturing, and accounts have not gone through any significant changes. The only modifications have been witnessed in the sales and customer relations departments. Such changes do not imply that the company will now function like a smaller one. The workforce may have been reduced, and salary expenses cut down, but responsibilities are still the same and have been redistributed between the remaining sales representatives.

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