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When examining the case of Palmetto Pharmaceuticals and the decline in client patronage indicated by Andrew Lowerston, it becomes immediately apparent that the problem lies in the way in which sales representatives view the customer-client relations model.
While a primarily sales oriented approach does address the issue of selling products, it fails to sufficiently address the issue of maintaining a constant stream of customers. As such, a method of evaluation must be implemented which shows the sales representatives the impact of their current approach and how it adversely affects the company’s overall sales performance.
Suggested Performance Appraisal Program
In this particular case, the most appropriate appraisal system to address the issues discovered by Lowerston is to implement a 360 degree feedback system. Such a system works by having multiple avenues from where data on employee performance is collected, this comes in the form of employee performance data being collected from managers, coworkers, from the employees themselves and, most importantly, from customers and suppliers (Drew, 2009).
Such a method would be an effective means of resolving the issue of the case since it enables customers to provide a certain level of feedback on the way in which they were treated by the company’s sales representatives. By comparing the performance input created by managers and other employees with that of the clients, the company will be able to show the sales representatives the impact of their actions vis-à-vis the actual performance of the company (Drew, 2009).
The advantage of this particular method is that while it will show sales representatives that they are complying with the sales metrics set by the company, it would also indicate that they are actually failing when it comes to the broader goals of the company in terms of maintaining a constant stream of consumer patronage for its products (Downs, 2012).
As a result, this would necessitate a distinct change in performance on the part of the sales representatives wherein they would be more inclined towards developing long lasting relations with their clients rather than focus on a quick sale for the sake of meeting a metric. Unfortunately, the inherent problem with this particular method of appraisal is the fact that it takes a considerable period of time for an evaluation to be completed (Downs, 2012).
For example, feedback forms need to be sent to managers, other employees and to customers at which point they have to be filled out and returned to the company. This can take a considerable amount of time and, in the case of some customers, the forms may not be entirely accurate. Not only that, in some cases the performance indicators that are filled out by managers and employees may not be entirely accurate as well and, as such, this places considerable doubt on the accuracy of this particular approach on performance evaluation.
Based on an analysis of the pros and cons of the 360 degree feedback system as well as its possible use in the case of Palmetto Pharmaceuticals, it can be stated that given the need of the company to evaluate its sales representatives based on the input of consumers, the 360 degree feedback system presents itself as the most viable option in this particular instance.
While it may be true that there are some problems related to the time it takes to analyze the data and the issues regarding the overall accuracy of the information collected, such factors are relatively minor compared to the potential benefits accrued.
Downs, L. J. (2012). Integrated talent management: Building a Strategy One Block at a Time. T+D, 66(8), 42.
Drew, G. (2009). A “360” degree view for individual leadership development. Journal Of Management Development, 28(7), 581-592.