Written in 2012 by Brenda Ellington Booth and Karen L Cates from Northwestern University, Growing Managers: Moving From Team Member to Team Leader, describes a fictional scenario from the point of view of a newly promoted Sales Manager named Melissa Richardson in a company called ColorTech Greenhouses Inc. Melissa faces an abundance of problems that many new managers are unprepared for. (Ellington Booth & Cates, 2012 Kellogg School of Management)
Located primarily in the southern region of the United States, with its corporate headquarters in Phoenix, ColorTech is a privately held company that grows and supplies annual and perennial flowers to big-box stores. Some of its clients include Walmart and Home Depot. They rented greenhouse space in other US cities to be able to handle special orders, with greenhouses in the North which helped them provide region specific and seasonal plants. ColorTech profits had been consistently dropping due to a change in the market and industry. A saturated market and a shift away from water and high maintenance intensive gardens, along with increased price competition are the major reasons why we have seen a loss in profits for ColorTech. Demands for lowering prices and very costly customizations from the big-box stores made ColorTech even more exposed than other competitors. As part of its growth strategy and an effort to generate additional revenue, ColorTech recently acquired a Colombian company specialized in cut flowers, and quickly became one of the largest growers in North and South America.
Melissa Richardson- She is the main character in this case study. Melissa was the top sales performer in Chicago before her recent promotion to sales manager of the Phoenix office. Melissa is excited and eager to step into this position, hoping that her previous experience and success will be able to help the struggling Phoenix office become successful. She has no previous manager experience, but has taken management training courses which helped her learn about some of her duties.
Beth Campbell- She is the Regional Sales manager for ColorTech. Beth is very absent from this story and does not provide the support to Melissa that she needs. Campbell appears to be very busy and does not communicate expectations with Melissa well. Alex Hoffman- He is an account representative, and has been with the company for 8 years. He is the top salesperson in the entire company. He is very dismissive in his attitude towards Melissa. He does not appear to accept her as his manager. He might be having some feelings of jealousy born out of the fact that he may have considered himself qualified for the manager position. Alex has no interest in selling the cut flowers portion of the business and will only work on his own terms. Gregorio Torres- Torres, also an account representative, has been with the company the longest, 12 years. His sales numbers are below average. During his first encounter with Melissa, he was more interested in discussing his idea for a new website to manage customer service. When further pushed about why his sales numbers were so low, Gregorio responded with “I guess I’m just not a hard-sell kind of guy.” From an outside perspective it seems as if Gregorio is just not cut out for sales and might be more interested in customer service or operations. Sarah Vega- Sarah is the third account representative on the team. Even though she has been with the company for 3 years, still does not appear to have it all together. Sarah was either tardy or absent from meetings. Even when she eventually made it for a meeting, she seemed distracted, restless and unorganized. This attitude to work reflected on her erratic sales numbers, though she appeared knowledgeable in some areas of the company’s product line, she was totally clueless in others. . Chelsea Peterson- Chelsea is a store...
References: Kinicki, A. (2008). Organizational Behavior. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin
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