Boise Automation Canada Ltd.: The Lost Order at Northern Paper (B)
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This B2B case describes the account manager’s seven-month sales process and the customer’s buying process that led to the lost order. It is an excellent case to explore organizational buying behaviour, the discipline of the selling process, and the management of sales resources (time) as an asset. It can be included in an introductory marketing course at the MBA or undergraduate level. It is equally effective for executive development. It also fits in a B2B marketing course to explore organizational buying behaviour, or in the introduction module in a sales management course. Key learning points include:
- Organizational buying is a disciplined process. It often involves several people in a decision-making unit (DMU). The decision makers and influencers usually have different perspectives, levels of influence and decision-making authority, and buying criteria.
- Selling is a disciplined process that must include the many influences in the DMU. Without an understanding of the buying process, DMU players, and their criteria, a sales representative is ineffective.
- Selling is an investment of finite time and resources. It is a disciplined process of allocating time where the likelihood of success lies. Not all opportunities are equally attractive or should be pursued. Selling is a process of balancing, tactical action, information gathering, and analysis.
- Gathering information about a customer’s buying criteria and influences in the DMU is difficult.
- There are strategic options to consider when designing a sales process. The process should support the sales strategy driven by the marketing plan.
Canada, Large, 2011
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