A Tough Sell in Sales Management (a)

3 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008

See all articles by Gerry Yemen

Gerry Yemen

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Daniel L Grenblad

Stockholm School of Economics

Abstract

As a manager of a local subsidiary, how skilled should you be in understanding a customer's behavior? Lars Falk, country manager at Genupay in Sweden AB, an IT software company, and one of his sales people were awaiting a promised fax about a sweet deal he had landed with a Swedish casino company. The timing of this contract could not have been better. The CEO of Genupay Inc., the parent company in London, United Kingdom, was putting the pressure on Falk to address some financial shortcomings. The local company was, so far, a loss-making subsidiary. In the (A) case, Falk senses a problem when the promised contract fails to appear. The (B) case, 24 hours later, reveals that the customer is canceling its purchase. The (C) case reveals that the purchasing contract signatory left the casino company, which has Falk wondering about the potential fallout of taking legal action. This case set is intended to be read and taught in a single 90-minute class. It allows for the application of frameworks on mapping functional and legal roles of actors in the buying decision and the personal selling processes. The main events of the case are actual occurrences; all actors are disguised.

Excerpt

UVA-M-0739

A TOUGH SELL IN SALES MANAGEMENT (A)

Just when he thought he had heard some of the best news of the year, Lars Falk, country manager at Genupay in Sweden AB, wondered why the contract had failed to appear. One of his sales people was awaiting a promised fax about a sweet deal he had landed with a local Swedish casino. The timing of this contract could not have been better. The chief executive officer (CEO) of Genupay Inc., the parent company in London, United Kingdom, was putting the pressure on Falk to address some financial shortcomings. The local company was, up to that point, a loss-making subsidiary. Under pressure to grow profitable, Falk saw his main goal as transforming the local subsidiary into a self-supporting organization. Falk personally had a lot at stake in making the company profitable. The disappointing financial results, the difficulty of building the new organization, and the pressure of shortening the sales cycle were looming issues Falk needed to address. A strong contract would be just the thing to improve his quarterly goals and the atmosphere in the Swedish office. Falk wondered what had gone wrong.

Genupay, Inc.: The Startup

In 1992, three software engineers founded Genupay Inc., in London, United Kingdom. The startup developed and sold software to retailers for managing Internet payments. Five years later, the company had grown into a profitable business with a turnover of 1 million British pounds. Given its success, the company opened subsidiaries in the United States and the Netherlands. By 1999, the firm started trading publicly on the London Stock Exchange. During the Internet boom in late 1990s, on-line payments were seen as a key element in the success of on-line business growth. Genupay, Inc., was therefore able to choose among venture capital firms as the company's founders sought capital to speed up the international expansion.

. . .

Keywords: As a manager of a global subsidiary, how skilled should you be in predicting a customer's behavior? Larry Swartz, country manager at Genua in Sweden AB, an IT services company, and one of his sales people were awaiting a promised fax about a sweet deal he

Suggested Citation

Yemen, Gerry and Grenblad, Daniel L, A Tough Sell in Sales Management (a). Darden Case No. UVA-M-0739. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1280632

Gerry Yemen (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

Daniel L Grenblad

Stockholm School of Economics ( email )

Box 6501
Stockholm, Stockholm 113 83
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.grenblad.com/

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