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In 1990, executive of CPI received a no. of letters from irate customers who complained about the
firm’s terminating the service of one of its detailers, Bob Marsh.
This situation was rare from customer side and therefore the sales VP decided to look into Marsh’s
case, to determine whether M’s discharge was a management failure and if so what could be done
to correct.
CPI= Major manufacturer of prescription drugs for the medical and dental professions. Products
carried by drug wholesaler & drug store to resale in the general public through prescription or
hospital and physicians
Competitors of CPI Abbott, lily, Merck, Upjohn, Schering. CPI’s 1989 sale exceeded $1 Bn. They had
500 dealers who persuade doctor & dentist to prescribe CPI drug. A typical CPI detailer=200
physician, hospital accounts within an assigned geographic territory, and make 6-9 calls per day.
Most CPI detailer=Pharmacy school graduate joined after experience at registered retail drug store.
CPI detailer get month training in product characteristics and selling skill at Company, HQ. In
addition both new & experienced detailer received regular on the job training from 35 district
managers. All CPO returned to HQ regularly for 10-15 days in a year for training through career.
About 60% detailer had more than 10+year experience with the company, 25% had fewer than 5
year, About 50% were over 40 and 25% were under 30, Turnover in sales force was lower than the
industry average. Only 8% were lost in resignation, discharge, death, retirements. In 1989 CPI
detailer earning ranged from 40K-80K $ Corporate bonus accounted 15% of total. They also got
automobile, generous fringe benefit & reimbursement for normal business expense.
evaluation of CPI on basis of Sales volume & Improvement in their relationship with customers.
Formal performance evaluation from their district manager once a year & informal evaluation
whenever necessary.
each CPI DM were supposed to spend 3-4 day per week on field visits with detailers for evaluation,
each CPI DM was expert in sales & leadership
Marsh was 32 when he joined, Good academic records, and history of successful drugstore
experience. Experienced Naval Pilot with fine officer service record
John Meredith rated BM highly in sincerity, aggressiveness, attitude, enthusiasm, learning ability,
judgement, character, affability and appearance. His personal reference were outstanding
BM opined earning potential in long run is good at CPI, Marsh personally knew many physicians &
hospital personnel
Marsh seeming lack of attention to organization, planning & follow up and his tendency to question
logic of some companies, Since they were not of usual salesmen, Meridth wrote it as inexperience
Meredith was disappointed with marsh seeming indifference to organization. Meredith gave little
advance though to the see, he had no plan of approach in Physicians office. Unplanned visit to
hospital, He displayed & developed his own portfolio for promoting the product, Didn’t follow
companies strategy of promotion
BM’s bag was cluttered & poorly organized, Meredith reminded BM that serendipity is not a pattern
of successful person
There was increase in number of physician buying CPI product
Meredith keep stressing about importance of organization from satisfactory to excellent.
Bill couch rated him well above average.
BM was not using selling asset to fullest advantage.
1st medication no properly with physician. Poor penetration with dentist, Organzied record & filling
system nnt up to mark