This assignment is designed to have you apply the concepts that you’re learning through the online modules to a real industry. It will help you better understand how companies in the real world target potential customers. This assignment will help you develop research, critical thinking and communication skills.
- This assignment is primarily related to concepts covered in Module 7 & 8.
- This is designed to help you reach Learning Outcomes 1, 3 and 5 of this course.
In this assignment you are to read the attached case on Stark Industries and answer the questions noted in the case. Your answer should be based on the information presented in the case as well as what you have learned in Modules 5, 7 & 8.
In this assignment you will play the role of the Stark salesperson. Your job is to use the information presented in the case and your own internet research to identify and prioritize potential real-life Canadian customers Stark should target.
What is to be submitted
Your report should contain the 5 sections noted below (additional details are in the case questions):
- Title Page
- Your name, subject, section, date, the professor’s name, assignment title.
- Prioritized List of accounts by channel & overall
- Refer to case questions for more detail.
- No set length, but answers should be long enough to answer case questions fully.
- This section should contain a ranked list of 10 real-life Canadian companies split into 2 groups of 5 accounts. One group for each channel of business as described in the case. Your list should be prioritized within each sub-group, plus an overall ranking (first to 10th) of all 10 accounts.
- You must:
- Rank those accounts within subgroups in the order you want to target them
- Provide an additional list of all 10 accounts ranked in the order you would target them.
- Overall Account Selection Criteria and Prioritization Rationale
- No set length – but explanations should be sufficiently detailed to answer assignment questions.
- This section should explain:
- What was your reasoning process to pick those specific accounts (out of all the possible choices you could have made)? For example – Account size, prestige, geographic location?
- Why you ranked the accounts in the order you did (by sub-group). What was the reasoning process you used for this? Discuss the factors you used to rank ? How and why did you weigh the factors? For example: if you considered geographic location of their head office as the most important factor, why did you select that?
- List of 5 generic questions you would like to ask all the accounts in your first meeting with them. (i.e.: only 5 question total)
- Briefly explain the reason for each question (what are you hoping to find out by asking that specific question?)
- For each question note the type of question: whether it’s open vs closed ended.
- For each question note the category of the question (reactive, etc) noted in Module 5.
- No set length – but your questions and reasons for them should be sufficiently detailed to explain your choice clearly.
- Information Sources.
- Note and provide links to any websites used in your research.
The report will be graded out of a maximum of 100 marks as shown on the following marking scheme.
|Title page with required information||5|
|Prioritized List of accounts by channel & overall||50|
|Overall Account Selection Criteria and Prioritization Rationale||20|
|Questions for accounts||10|
|Grammar Counts: your ability to write in proper essay form i.e. grammatically correct sentences, error-free spelling, organization and clarity of thought||10|
Your report must be double-spaced in 12 pt. font with a one-inch margin. The report will be submitted online and should be either in MS word or pdf file format.
The report style is to follow MLA format.
Note: Reports submitted with multiple spelling errors will not be marked. Please proofread & use spell checking to ensure that all words including names and technical terms are spelled correctly.
Your report must be submitted electronically into Black Board. Details on how to submit will be posted on Blackboard.
Plagiarized assignments will receive a mark of zero on the assignment and a failing grade on the course and a permanent note of plagiarism on their academic record. Please note: even you use work you previously wrote yourself, it is still considered plagiarism if you do not cite it properly in your paper.
Assignment 4 Case
Stark Industries is a medium sized manufacturing company specializing in energy efficient applications using cutting edge technology. Stark’s advanced R&D team has commercialized a new line of revolutionary ultra-high efficiency refrigerator & freezer cooling units. The units consume 1/3 the power of traditional units.
Stark is commencing manufacturing consumer-targeted refrigerator/freezer units to sell to consumers through traditional retail channels. In addition to those consumer channels they are also planning to sell their ultra-high efficiency cooling units (with no exterior refrigerator box or freezer box) to other manufacturers of refrigerator and freezers for installation into their own units. [I.e.: Stark supplies the revolutionary cooling unit and the other manufacturer installs the Stark unit into their existing physical exterior box].
Stark’s goal is to maximize their potential consumer and industrial sales as efficiently as possible. They currently have two distinct account sales forces which sell to 2 different channels of customers:
- Team A – This sales team focuses their efforts on selling Stark consumer oriented products to retail businesses that then sell those Stark-branded products directly to consumers (For example: Best Buy, Canadian Tire, Costco etc). They have a wide level of penetration into various consumer channels.
- Team B – The second Stark sales team focuses exclusively on other manufacturers of refrigerators and freezers. That team sells Stark components to those businesses who then incorporate those Stark components into their own branded products. Some of those other manufacturers include companies like LG or GE that sell to the same consumer retailers as Stark but they also sell to other manufacturers that make commercial refrigeration equipment for example: True Manufacturing Corp.
In the future, Stark hopes their ultra-high efficiency cooling units will be suitable for use in air-conditioning units, but they aren’t at this time. Stark does not currently sell to online only retailers like Amazon or eBay. This is something Stark might consider, but if so, it would take significant analysis of the market potential to justify this decision.
Since this new product line follows the same consumer vs commercial split, Stark would continue this split among their sales teams. Stark’s senior management is aware that they have an existing customer base, but in light of how amazing their new products are, they want to review all possible customers to determine if all customers are prioritized correctly, including existing ones. All possible target accounts should be prioritized accordingly. Based on current sales force capacity to handle this business, Stark’s senior management believes that they should target at least 5 accounts in each segment.
Stark’s current sales force operates out of their Canadian head office in Mississauga, as well as their offices Vancouver, Montreal and Moncton. Regional sales people focus on sales within their own province. Sales outside of those provinces are usually very low.
1) Ignore country of origin in manufacturing – For the purpose of this case, assume that all re-sellers or manufacturers of refrigerator or freezer units, regardless of county of origin, manufacture in Canada and would be able to incorporate the Stark technology.
What you need to do:
Place yourself in the role of the salesperson in the case.
- Identify (Prospect) Potential Customers and Prioritize your list- Develop two prioritized (ranked) lists of 5 accounts each, split into the two main channels of business Stark is in: a) consumer retailers and b) refrigerator and freezer manufacturers. This is to be based on the information in the above case.
Methods to research the various options and sources of information have been noted in Module 7. Your industry research can be conducted primarily on-line using some or all of the databases noted. Use whatever additional Google searches you need to determine potential customers. Use as many databases as you require to get the best possible information you need.
For each channel and each account, you are to explain how you determined your list. What databases or tools did you use?
When you list the accounts, they should be ranked in order you would like them targeted (1st to 5th) within each sales channel PLUS add an additional list with the overall ranking of the 10 accounts (1st to 10th).
Please note: For this section, there is no list of “correct accounts”. Your grade will be based on the rationale you use to explain why and how you selected those particular accounts out of all the possible choices plus what research you did and rationale you used to come up with the list you developed.
- List prioritization Explanation: Here you explain what criteria you used to rank (prioritize) the potential customers you listed Part 1.
In other words: why did you list them in the order you did? For example – did you use sales potential, head office location, prestige etc? How did you determine those numbers (by research, databases etc)?. How did you determine the overall ranking of the customers?
Your grade here will be based on your explanation of why you ranked them the way you did.
- Questions and Rationale – Create a list of 5 generic account questions you would like to ask the potential accounts you’ve identified.
For each question explain why you are asking that particular question? What do you hope to learn from it? Why do you feel the information you obtain is important to know?
For each question note whether the question is:
- Open versus close ended & why you chose that format.
- The question’s category (reactive etc. – refer to Module 5) and why you chose that category.
Your grade here will be based on your choice of questions and reasons for them plus your correct determining of the type and category of your questions.
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