Investment in Dealer Training in an Uncertain Market: Balancing Immediate Needs With Long-Term Sales Performance


On May 3, 2020, reacting to the uncertain prospects of the economy due to COVID-19, the top management team of Agricultural Equipment Manufacturing Company Limited (AEMC), India, decided to immediately stop all nonessential expenditure, which included dealer training. Manish Singh, a zonal sales manager for AEMC, had systematically invested in salesforce and dealer training for the last three years to deliver high sales growth, and had planned it to be a cornerstone for his growth strategy for the coming financial year. Singh knew that the potential benefits of dealer training included significant improvement in dealer motivation, long-term attachment to the company, and relationship-building between the company and dealers. However, in such an uncertain business scenario, top management was unlikely to register the qualitative benefits of dealer training. Hence, Singh planned to focus on business indices, justify the training based on hard evidence, get the approval he needed, and deliver another stellar performance from his zone in FY 2020–2021. He knew that a good performance would be critical in building a strong case for his promotion from zonal to national level roles at the end of this financial year, and hence this approval was also very important for his career growth.

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