Case Study: Baria Planning Solutions - Fixing the Sales Process

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Case Study: Baria Planning Solutions, Inc.

Case Overview
Baria Planning Solutions (BPS), Inc. was founded in 1997 and is a publically traded firm with $95 million in annual sales. BPS helps its customers reduce procurement costs and improve the performance of their suppliers. BPS uses a combination of software, data analysis, project management and consulting to scrutinize its customers’ spending categories, identify sources of potential savings through initiatives such as supplier consolidation and purchase standardization, and implements procurement and change-management projects to realize those savings. Over the past several years larger competitors such as SAP and Accenture entered this market, captured share and caused smaller competitors to consolidate. Through acquisitions, BPS’s primary markets include the U.S. energy sector, government sector (federal and state agencies, larger municipalities and non-profits), manufacturing companies and the retail sector. More recently BPS’s performance showed disappointing results and the company is trying to determine the best approach to reverse this trend. Specifically, BPS’s win-loss ratio, qualified new sales opportunities and renewal rates have all been declining. Additionally, BPS has realized some issues with the organizational of their sales team, sales support group and sales operations group. Through acquisitions, BPS acquired companies to remain competitive in the market place but has identified significant inefficiencies among the groups. For example, proposal deadlines are being missed and an effort to cross-train employees has proved costly and has actually reduced productivity. Faced with these challenges, BPS North American Sales President, Brandon Ali, has tasked newly hired Christy Connor with preparing a proposal containing recommendations on how they can turn the situation around.

Case Questions
1. What are the organizational and operational issues that underlie the problems facing BPS? * Baria Planning Solutions (BPS) is a publicly traded firm that helped its customers reduce costs through a combination of software, data analysis, project management, and consulting. BPS which initially served the U.S. energy sector exclusively, had survived by expanding its industry coverage and capabilities through the acquisition of other narrowly focused industry-niche providers. In 2007, BPS acquired a firm that primarily served the government sector, including federal and state agencies and some large municipalities and nonprofit organizations. In 2008 BPS acquired two more firms, one serving a range of manufacturing companies and another that primarily served the retail sector. * While BPS initially allowed the acquired firms to continue operating semi-autonomously, the company had since worked hard to integrate parts of each operation where synergies could be achieved. While all four firms provided solutions that addressed the same types of customer needs, the similarities ended there. In addition to serving different industries, the firms had entirely different technology platforms, service delivery processes, and even different fiscal year end dates. Most of the pressing integration work was complete by the end of 2009, although some technology migration projects were still in the works. By 2010, BPS commanded a respectable 18% share of the market, but in a highly competitive market BPS could not afford to lose any momentum in sales growth. * Although BPS served customers on a global scale, its direct sales force focused on companies in North America. As a result the North American Sales organization was focused on driving new sales and renewing existing contracts in North America. The North American Sales organization was structured into the following three groups: i. Sales

ii. Sales Operations
iii. Sales Support
* The Sales group, led by Chuck Dee, has four units organized by...
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