Team Case Analysis

Designing Sales Territories/ Territory Alignment
Chapter 5 of our text discusses “Designing Sales Territories That Increase Sales”.  The authors educate us on the importance of sales territory alignment, conditions that warrant the need to realign, obstacles that impact effective alignments, and processes to use for implementing territory alignments.
Another key consideration when aligning sales territories is what is often referred to as “alignment criteria”.  Some firms refer to this as “business rules”.
Consider the following scenario…
The Situation
America’s Fish Company (AFC) is a wholesale distributor of seafood located in Sitka Alaska.  AFC was originally formed in 1976 by four partners, Jim, Billy, Sandy and Kelly. The business idea grew out of Jim and Kelly’s Seafood Restaurant which opened in Sitka in 1972. Sourcing and maintaining a consistent quality and supply of king crab, salmon and halibut from the Alaskan region became a critical requirement of the restaurant’s success. As a result of their proficiency in local sourcing of seafood, AFC started shipping and selling their seafood to “high-end” restaurants in the “lower 48” and has become one of the largest shippers/distributors of fresh seafood from Alaska.
The Sales Force
AFC currently has 143 sales people located in Washington, California, and Arizona who call on an average of 100 accounts comprised of a mix between seafood restaurant franchises, family owned restaurants, and wholesalers. Due to some market shifts, and the launch of two new seafood items (shrimp and cod), AFC feels they have unbalanced territories and need to institute a sales territory realignment process. Additionally, the original founders, Jim, Billy, Sandy, and Kelly feel they “just need to shake things up” since their sales force has had the same alignment for over 10 years.
Describe what “alignment criteria” or “business rules” you would establish in order to drive your alignment decisions.  The assignment is NOT to provide specific alignment decisions (although feel free to offer recommendations); it is only to describe and support the “alignment criteria”/ “business rules” you would put in place and why. Also comment on implementing such a realignment.
Why Sales Territory Alignment is Important (p.135-140)  – (Our Introduction)

Describe what “alignment criteria” or “business rules” you would establish in order to drive your alignment decisions
a.        Alignment Criteria/Business Rules (p.140-143)
i.     Change in Sales Force size or structure
ii.     Mergers & Acquisitions
iii.     Unbalanced Territories
iv.      Market Shifts
v.     Demographic Shifts
vi.      New Products
vii.      The Need to Shake Things up Occasionally

HINT:  Consider the alignment criteria and implementation information given in Ch. 5 of the ZS text. Lastly, think about why companies find it hard to maintain an up-to-date alignment (also see Ch. 5 for info on this).

Grade based upon:
•    Graduate level writing quality, grammar, spelling, etc.
•    Business acumen with respect to the reasoning and justification for your answers.  Be sure to include your rationale (the “why”).
•    Effective application of the ZS text material

Zoltners, A., Sinha, P., and  Zoltners, G. (2001). The Complete Guide to Accelerating Sales Force Performance. New York, NY: AMACOM.