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McGraw Hill Case Study. Grant Senter and James Paulsen Baylor University. Identification of the Issues. Sales Process Sales force Structure Compensation Sales Training . Sales Process. Campus Plan All about numbers and opportunity for revenue No deep thought process

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McGraw Hill Case Study

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Mcgraw hill case study

McGraw Hill Case Study

Grant Senter and James Paulsen

Baylor University

Identification of the issues

Identification of the Issues

  • Sales Process

  • Sales force Structure

  • Compensation

  • Sales Training

Sales process

Sales Process

  • Campus Plan

    • All about numbers and opportunity for revenue

    • No deep thought process

    • Created the night before

    • Lack of real preparation

    • Relationship is lost

  • No Desire

    • 5 minute meetings with professors

    • Bookstores are checked to be up-to-date

    • Goal: to get the professor “up to speed” on the latest offerings

  • Bottom Line:

    • Customers are not being appreciated

    • Sales Process is shorted in an effort to maximize revenue opportunity

    • Result of a poor training process and incentive structure

Buyer process

Buyer Process

Mcgraw hill case study

Salesforce Structure The cons of a “generalist geographic approach” often limit the product knowledge the sales representatives have, make it difficult for reps to master broad product lines, and pose a coordination issue. Consequences:Decreased salesMissed opportunities Decrease in customer satisfaction The current structure does not present the level of value that our clients are seeking. McGraw Hill needs to slightly restructure the sales force to ensure that there are resources available to help with McGraw Hill’s broad range of products.

The candle problem

The Candle Problem

Compensation plans

Compensation Plans


  • “Once a task called for even a rudimentary cognitive skill,” a larger reward “led to a poorer performance.”

  • “In eight of the nine tasks we examined across the three experiments, higher incentives led to a worse performance.”

  • “We find that financial incentives can result in a negative impact on overall performance.”-Dr. Bernd Irlenbusch, London School of Economics.


  • The current commission plan only allows for commission to be achieved if one achieves over 95% of quota.

  • The current plan is contrary to scientific research, does not promote a group mentality, and does not financially incentivize any sales activity under 95%.

Sales training

Sales Training

  • “Reps are thrown into the field with barebones training.”- Anonymous Sales Employee

  • McGraw Hill sales employees are moving from a generalist sales position to a specialist sales position requiring an in-depth knowledge of McGraw Hill’s technology products.

  • McGraw Hill sales employees are given 2-3 weeks of in-house training led by their manager. This is far below the standard.

    Organizations sales training:

    AT&T-6 months

    Oxy Chem- 5 months

    IBM- 9 months

    Reynolds and Reynolds- 6 months

    No current E-Learning Modules in place to keep sales representatives up to date on products benefits, features, etc.

Recommendations sales force

RecommendationsSales Force:

Sales process1

Sales Process

  • Starts with Training

  • Process: Develop a Relationship

    • Remove “check ins”

    • Become less concerned with maximization of revenue opportunities

    • Require and encourage conversation

  • Cascading Campaign:

Recommended sales process

Recommended Sales Process

Mcgraw hill case study

Compensation PlansSales representatives will no longer have to achieve 95% of quota to receive additional compensation from their 50k base salary. Sales representatives will operate on a straight base salary of 60,000 and will be able to receive bonuses ranging from 1-10% of your current salary. The bonus is based off the group performance of a district manager’s sales team. This includes the product specialist. This method encourages team work, collaboration, and friendly competition amongst groups. The top performing team in each region will receive the 10% bonus off of their base salary.

Sales training1

Sales Training

-Sales training will be given more of an emphasis as the new sales training program will be 3 months long for recent undergraduates.

Experienced Sales Professionals will have a training process of 2-3 weeks.

E-Learning modules will have to be completed quarterly and will cover every aspect of the sales cycle. Sales professionals will be trained on products, the proper sales process, and additional learning


Revenue & Profit

Implementation process

Implementation Process


Make sure new sales reps pass certification to enter the field




Expected Decrease in Turnover- 1,000,000


300 reps with the bottom 20% not making quota: Currently: 60 x 50,000= 3,000,000

New plan: 60 x 60,000= 3,600,000

60% reps hit quota:

Currently: 180 x 70,000= 12,600,000

New plan: 180 x 60,000= 10,800,000

12.6 million – 10.8 million= 1.8 million

10% reps over 100% quota:

Currently: 30 x 100,000= 3 million

New plan: 30 x 60,000= 1.8 million

3 million – 1.8 million= 1.2 million

- 600,000


+ 1,200,000

Total Savings= 2.4 million dollars

Impact on Revenues= 1.5 million dollars

  • Increased Revenues: 54 million dollars

    Savings: 2.4 million dollars

    Expenses: 2.32 million dollars

    56.4 million -2.77 million dollars=

    Increased Profit: 53.63 million dollars

  • Revenues

  • Training- 30 million dollars (100,000 increase per sales rep)

    Compensation- 9 million

    Sales force structure-15 million dollars ( 50,000 increase per sales rep)

    Up front expenses:

    Training- 5,000,000

    18 Product Specialists- 900,000

    Implementation- 200,000

    Bonuses- 720,000

    Total Expenses= 2.77 million

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