Success Stories

1) Case Study Of Whirlpool

Whirlpool of India Ltd. had taken over two of India’s powerful brands Kelvinator and TVS and also absorbed their sales force. This had benefits and also drawbacks, the benefits were

  1. The brand established very easily through the existing distribution setup
  2. Consumers accepted the brand and it inherited the market share of the earlier brands

But the drawbacks were also brought in many problems like

  1. Not all the sales officers/executives were of required calibre and qualifications
  2. The sales force cultures were not matching (Kelvinator a north based company and TVS a south Indian company)
  3. The sales force had laid back attitude as they worked for category leaders
  4. Sales staff was not habituated to put in hard work
  5. This has resulted in many retailers not getting covered and market outstanding climbing up to 280 days

The company when planned to introduce NO FROST refrigerators that were being manufactured in GNF plant in Pune had plans to penetrate market up to semi urban level (population strata 20000 +) and needed to change the work attitude and coverage pattern. Company appointed a senior trainer to give class room training to sales staff and three field trainers to train sales staff on job (removing faults in sales call and preparing PJP[coverage plan]). Dr. Suresh Abhyankar was one of those three and was given charge of six states in India.

Major problems found in call procedures were in the area of

  1. Stock check/need development
  2. Detail work ( recording sales, arranging displays in the showroom, tracking the receipts from the company)
  3. Checking the MOP (market operating price)

These problems were found even when company had provided them help in a way of show room demonstrators

The showroom owners did not keep /show actual stock registers and claimed that the stock earlier received is unsold and so they were unable to clear the payments; in actual fact they had very little stock to sell.

The sales staff used to pester them for order and they used to give an order as if obligingly saying “donot ask for payment immediately”.

Now sales staff used to go victoriously claiming good order because of the relations and showroom owners used to laugh to their bank doing business without any investment.

This resulted in sales officers/executives spending lot of time in big retailer’s showroom leaving no time for fringe retailers, and showrooms going out of stock for many varieties (Whirlpool offered many sizes, colours and designs in refrigerators)

Taking the sales officers/executives to the warehouses of the showroom owners led to very high recovery of market outstanding and booking of bigger orders; this also helped better displays at showrooms and higher consumer off-take.

PJPs were prepared along with the individual sales staff to ensure they visited at least eight retailers’ everyday ensuring 100 % coverage of retail universe.

2) Case Study of Saree Centre Pune

Saree centre a very old and renowned shop in Pune was divided in three shops after the owner died and the three brothers got them one each shop for themselves. The shops were then renamed as

  1. Saree centre — owned by elder brother
  2. New saree centre—– by the middle brother
  3. Saree centre the original— by the younger brother

The business initially got divided and then the elder brother who had received the central part and the original shop entrance started getting better business. The younger brother who had received the road corner had shop opening on the side street instead of the main Laxmi road was getting the lowest business even after having the main corner show case with him, he was worried and talked with his friend about it. The friend suggested Mr. Suresh Abhyankar’s name as a consultant.

In the initial meeting the middle brother Rameshbhai talked about how his sales staff (15 sales girls) can be trained to improve the business; Mr. Suresh Abhyankar said consultancy is not explaining 2+2=4 and one single formula cannot be applied everywhere, you need to develop success Mantra according to the situation as the business does not only depend on training and motivation of the sales staff but also on the shop layout, “would you be willing to change the shop layout?” Rameshbhai could not understand what was wrong with his shop layout, actually he had accepted the corner part as it was the major showcase are and attracted the customers the most. Mr. Suresh Abhyankar said he is right about the show case but the shop entrance next to the showcase on main road is his elder brother’s customers look at his showcase and enter elder brother’s shop. Mr. suresh Abhyankar suggested that the shop entrance should be brought at the corner so that any customers coming from all the directions would find it as the first shop entrance. Rameshbhai accepted the suggestion and changed the entrance and arranged two mannequins at the entrance as suggested by Mr. Suresh Abhyankar.

The next thing suggested by Mr. Suresh Abhyankar was to incentivise sales girls individually instead in group (Rameshhai had three groups one on road level shop and two on mezzanine). The customers would be routed to each sales girl by person at the entrance and the allocate sales girl would show the customer what they were interested in and try and sale maximum value. The incentive was based on number of units and total value of sale, so the sales girl can sale more units and more value to increase incentive earned. The sales girls were not trained in selling but were only given proper inputs about the incentive scheme and how they can earn more incentives while increasing the business of the shop.

The business of new saree centre went up multi-fold and the sales girls also became very happy that they could earn more by more efforts. Rameshbhai told Mr. Suresh Abhyankar you have rightly said that success Mantra must come from the business Guru as same mantra is not applicable everywhere.

3) Case Study of JTI (manpower planning)

The main competitor of JTI was ITC the market leader with nearly 96% market share, in Pune market ITC had 120 cycle salesman purchasing stocks of cigarettes in the morning covering their route of around 50 retailers with meeting all top retailers twice a day and some of them thrice a day to keep them stocked throughout the day. These salesmen will settle the payment of distributor next day morning while picking up fresh stock. For this effort these salesmen got 0.8% commission that was substantial as minimum sales was around ₹20000-25000 and in some areas it was up to ₹ 40000 per day making the earnings ₹160 to ₹320 that was a handsome amount for an unskilled person.

JTI bosses thought of giving equal coverage and thought of having that many salesmen, the problem was no one wanted to join unless they were paid a minimum of ₹ 5000 PM plus incentives this workout to ₹ 10 lac inclusive of supervisors salary. Since the expected business was 1% of ITC s ₹ 8 core PM i.e. ₹ 80 lac PM;paying ₹10 lac was out of question but the company was willing to pay that. Dr. Suresh Abhyankar suggested that they appoint only 30 salesmen initially and gave them a moped with petrol allowance in individual name hypothecated to the distributor’s name, and asked to visit 50 retailers during introduction and later 200 retailers every day; since the sale was expected to be low initially this would suffice the coverage requirements.

JTI officials were reluctant initially to accept the suggestions initially as their Global policy being no. three in the world was to match British American Tobacco co. (ITC’s parent company) no global no. two company person to person. The CMD accepted the suggestion as it was economically and commercially correct.

The plan worked fine the salesmen were motivated and the distribution achieved was almost 50% of class A & B retailers.