Hi - I work for a B2B company operating in specialty and fine Chemicals. We are an all India company and have Sales Executives located in select cities all over India.

In the year 2014 - Kerala - was not covered by a specific Sales Executive. As Head Sales and Marketing - All such regions come under my direct attention. I was involved in responding to dealer /Customer inquiries, quoting, negotiating with customer and making customer visits. at the end of the HY2014-15 - when we reviewed we found that compared to other regions -we made very good sales at good margins. The reason was a particularly good sales by a Dealer. In order to motivate him , we checked what is it he would expect us to do for helping him grow the business further - he suggested you appoint a Sales Executive in your company rolls and this will help me cover more customers. We readily agreed and asked him look for suitable candidates. After a checking different candidates - he came up with a candidate (Mr.X) and recommended that he be taken and this candidate will help us improve the business further in the region. A formal interview was done and we selected him. Mr. X joined us in Apr 15 and I gave him a brief to work with the dealer and promote the business further. After two months we find that the dealer and Mr. X are on logger heads. They are unable to work together and Mr.X is recommending that we discontinue this dealer and operate with an alternate dealer. As Mr. X is in our rolls - the dealer is unable to comment. He is saying - you allow me to do my work - I will give you the same result or better result compared to the previous year. I am unclear as to what I should do - Give the notice period salary to Mr. X and terminate him or appoint an alternate dealer or have two dealers or transfer Mr. X to alternate location. I do not want to elaborate on the mis-understanding between Mr. X and the dealer because both have some positives and negatives - the relationship Mr. X had prior to his appointment is different once he is appointed. For me the results are important Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome. I need to discuss the solution suggested with my HR as if Mr. X is not happy he could spoil our company reputation in the market.

From India, Hyderabad
Partner - Risk Management
Gopinath Varahamurthi
Mindhour Partner, Ass.professor/adm. Officer,
Senior Services Manager
Insolvency N Gst Professional
Recruitment/talent Acquisition, Career Counselling
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Questions put to you by our Strategic Director (SD) in order to suggest solution
- Is Mr. X performing well independently?
- Have you given exclusivity to the dealer for the region?
- Is the dealer still performing as he used to previously?
quoting our SD "The dealer when he recommended Mr. X, thought that Mr. X would be of help to him but it has proved counter productive. Looks like there is a power struggle between the dealer and Mr. X and in no way it should affect the sales of the company as a whole. Ideally you may demarcate territories for the Dealer and Mr. X. That way, they do not have to interact with each other and the friction will cease. There is no point in terminating the dealership with the 1st dealer since he is known in the market".

From India, Chennai

Transfer your salesman to another area for a win win solution..
Sometimes irreconcilable differences arise and they can be sorted out only by keeping the two parties totally away.
If X is a competent sales person,transfer him and look for some other person to replace him.
Dealer is an important person who gives you access to the market.

From India, Pune
surendra HRcite
THis is for Termination & Gratuity case-Termination for failure to achieve targets, without enquiry, not valid. SC 790
240 days service in the 5th year will be treated 5 years for gratuity. Ker. HC 826

From India, Gurgaon
Thanks M/s FREDANTH, NATHRAO, SURENDRA HRCITE for your views/ suggestions. To answer FREDANT - a) Performance of Mr. X is not great. It is average. He is citing the non-cooperation of Dealer as main reason for him to deliver results. b) We do not give exclusivity to dealers. But as the business grows and our products are well accepted, we start appointing additional dealers attaching them to specific customers to avoid cross selling. We are yet to reach that phase in this market. c) Yes - Dealer performance continues to be good. But scope exists for further growth - but due to misunderstanding between the two operating people - growth is not happening ( dealer version).
We are trying out your suggestion of keeping the Dealer and Mr. X away from each other.

From India, Hyderabad

Hello TK Sundar,
Given that the dealer's peroformance is proven & is still good, it's better to TRANSFER the employee--I presume that your would be having a Transferability Clause in all your Appointment Letters......'can be transferred anywhere in India'. Use it.
And if he refuses, you would have grounds to take appropriate action against him.
Hiring another guy to service the same market would lead to far greater problems later [including the employee beginning to 'feel' indispensable].....avoid it.
However, pl look into another angle too. Is there any clash between the credit for the Achieved Sales Targets of the dealer & the employee? COULD it be that some work of the employee is being shown as that of the dealer.......maybe inadvertently......that is the cause for the friction? Just a thought.

From India, Hyderabad

First, I must appreciate that the poster has provided :

- very detailed description of the problem leaving out nothing that matters

- responded immediately to request for clarification.

We don't often see such a detailed post on the forum.

With reference to the problem on hand, my opinion is as below.

- the dealer is good and is giving good sales, with growth that has traditionally been better.

- he was expecting that having a sales person for the company would help as the sales person would also cover some areas and popularise the product and generate leads

- very obviously the sales man has not done the above. Blaming the dealer for the sales man not generating leads is stupid. He is not there to feed to sales man. The salesman should be feeding the dealer.

- I see absolutely no reason why the dealer will not cooperate. He wants the business. His own sales and profitability depend on it. (Or do you have a system where he gets lesser margin for sales raised by the salesman ?)

- the only other cause could be if the way he was selling and growing the market is different from the salesman approach (do you have training ? Was he trained properly ? Is he following that ? And yes, was Kerala growing differently - dealer following different procedure approach pricing and distribution as compared to other territories where sales person are available ?)

(There would be a better analyse if I know the actual market and product, but that is not possible on this forum, so we go by generalities)

So, where does this go ?

It is obvious that the salesman is unfit for the job.

Whether he is unfit for that particular territory or he is unfit in general, I will leave it to your judgement.

However, you need to support your dealer who has given you growth that other territories didn't have. Else your sales will suffer at least in the short term. If your product is not a monopoly, you will suffer badly since the dealer will find another supplier and simply sideline your product.

So remove your salesman from that territory. Terminate him or give him some other area.

And if the dealer still feels a good sales man is necessary, check whether you can compensate him for appointing a salesman in his company specifically to push your product

From India, Mumbai
Dear TS, Sashwatha Bannerjee - thank you for your views and comments. Appreciate to you kind guidance on a difficult issue facing me. I am proceeding very close to the general suggestions given - I have demarcated the areas and allowed the dealer to work as he used before and have asked the Salesman to promote the products in areas not covered by this dealer and have given him fresh targets. To be seen how he performs.
From India, Hyderabad

I hope your approach works.
Of course you must remember that nothing in business or HR works like a textbook case, so you need to improvise and monitor as it proceeds. And you need to use your judgement from your own long experience.
Only I would suggest never to forget the loyalty of your good performing dealers as they will make or break your company in the end..
By the way seniors, is there a reason why I am not able to appreciate any of the posts in this thread ???

From India, Mumbai
gopinath varahamurthi

Dear Friend,

The dealer added to the sales volume, and the idea of appointing a sales executive was a later thought. To improve a sales executive was appointed of course, the issue become counter productive. The desired result could not be achieved may be sales target. The issue certainly raised at the origin itself, since, the sales executive was recommended by the dealer and the company have made an formal interview may be some of the issues unnoticed during the appointment. A dealer may not able to cover larger areas and depend on the sales executive to focus for the sales target in furthering business. The sales executive is the path where the dealer can sail to achieve maximum target :-

1) Let the sales executive be given maximum area covered and get the progress once in every fifteen days, expand the area of business slowly so that another dealer may be appointed for the business progress.

2) The dealer may cover the area of sales and customers in the area beyond his reach certainly one more dealer is required this will push the dealer make the progress, this will certainly solve the problem of the dealer and the sales executive.

3) The real problem may be both the dealer and the sales executive may cover the areas already in focus, better expand the areas and they should not alienated which will not give better results in the long run or this sales executive need be transferred to other area of operation and new sales executive need be installed( by transfer or a new appointee) which you may did not like to do at present.

4)Call both the dealer and the sales executive discuss the issue explain them to work in mutual understanding for their benefits and for the company, this will work out..

best of luck ...

From India, Arcot
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