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What Should the Supervisor Do Next

Answer, in 200-300 words, the three questions following this incident.

What Should I Do Next?

Kim Allred is relatively new as a supervisor, having been promoted only two months ago. Before her promotion, she had worked for the company for seven years as a sales specialist in office equipment. There is no doubt that she is a whiz at selling office equipment. Because of her accepted expertise in the field, it was natural for her to be promoted when the supervisory opening in office equipment sales became available. Yesterday, Kim received a memo from her boss, Ed Jackson, stating that all departmental plans for the next fiscal year were due by the end of the month, which was 10 days away. She immediately went into a panic. She had never prepared a formal plan, and she had no idea what was required. After worrying over the matter for a day, Kim decided that the best thing to do would be to ask Ed for some guidelines.

Kim: Ed, yesterday I received your memo regarding next year's plan. I've never prepared a formal plan, and frankly, I don't even know where to start.

Ed: Calm down, Kim. I apologize for forgetting that this is your first go-around in the planning process. What I am looking for is a plan for attaining the objectives that we agreed upon for your department last month. In other words, the ABCs of how you plan to accomplish each objective.

Kim: In other words, you want a written explanation of just how I expect to accomplish each objective. Just how detailed should this plan be, and what format are you looking for?

Questions
1. How would you answer Kim's questions if you were Ed Jackson?
2. How would you go about preparing this plan if you were Kim Allred? (Suggest a framework for Kim to follow.)
3. Do you think Kim's initial reaction to the planning process was unusual? Why or why not?

Solution Preview

1. How would you answer Kim's questions if you were Ed Jackson?

I will answer Kim's questions by pointing Kim to various resources that can be used to develop the sales plan. For example, a good point to take cues on starting the plan can be last year's plan. I can hand over last year's plan to Kim, so that she has a good idea about the requirements of the plan. Further, I can also provide her resources on general guidance about writing a sales plan. I can also ask other departmental heads to assist Kim in developing the plan for the first time.

Further, once the rough draft is prepared, I can go over it and give suggestion to Kim to refine the plan.

2. How would you go about preparing this plan if you were Kim Allred? (Suggest a framework for Kim to follow.)

If I was Kim Allred, I will follow the usual process of creating a sales/ marketing plan to achieve the targeted sales of the office equipment divsion. I will certainly involve my departmental employees in the preparation of the plan, so that their valuable inputs and suggestions can be incorporated in the plan. Further, I will also seek assistance from other concerned departments, such as finance/ accounting department for the development of the plan.

The questions that I should answer in your sales plan are:

What are you going to focus on?
What are you going to change?
In practical terms, what steps are involved?
What territories and targets are you going to give each salesperson or team?
The sales plan will start with some strategic objectives. You can then explain the stepping stones that will allow you to achieve these objectives. Use objectives which are SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound.

It is ...

Solution Summary

How would you answer Kim's questions if you were Ed Jackson?

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