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Al-Ain eye centre: sales force evaluation dilemma

Muhammad Muzamil Sattar (Department of Marketing, Business Administration, Sukkur IBA University, Sukkur, Pakistan)

Publication date: 14 July 2020


Learning outcomes

This case was written to help students develop their analytical and decision-making skills with regard to sales force evaluation. It identifies a variety of issues – in the Pakistani context particularly – within the sales force environment, including union representation, sales force team conflicts and power dynamics between superiors and subordinates. The various case lessons will enhance students’ analytical, negotiation and team-management skills. This case can be used to discuss the following issues: the complexity of objective and subjective evaluations of a sales force, sales force perceptions and cultural nuances for succeeding in Pakistan. Distribution structures and management in Pakistan. Characteristic features of the Pakistani pharmaceutical market. Students will be able to explain how salesperson performance information can be used to identify problems, determine their causes and suggest sales management actions to solve them. Students will be able to differentiate between an outcome-based and a behaviour-based perspective for evaluating and controlling salesperson performance. Students will understand how to control one’s behaviour in conflict situations by identifying common interests and achieving a “win-win” situation.

Case overview/synopsis

The Al-Ain case describes sales force management and sales force evaluation in a situation that involves a high-performing team operating in a hostile environment. Al-Ain eye centre (Al-Ain), located in the city of Karachi in Sindh state of Southern Pakistan, is a small-scale hospital that has diversified into the pharmaceutical business. Al-Ain’s product portfolio includes analgesics, antibiotics, ophthalmology products and cardiology products. This case focusses on team management and the relationship between a sales manager and subordinate salespeople in the context of Pakistani culture. A sales representative has received a poor performance assessment, which he perceives to be an unfair evaluation of his efforts. As a result of the situation, he subsequently joins a union and creates problems for his superiors. As they explore these management issues within a sales force, students will develop an appreciation for objective methods of sales force evaluation, as well as for the complexity of handling high-performing teams, the importance of employee perceptions and the scope of subjective biases in sales force evaluation that can emerge in practice.

Complexity academic level

The case is suited to undergraduate or MBA courses on sales management, organizational behaviour, distribution management, marketing/strategy and pharmaceutical industries. It addresses issues of sales force management, sales territory allocations, sales target fixation, team conflict, promotion, team bonus and distribution management in the pharmaceutical industry in Pakistan.

Supplementary materials

Teaching Notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS 8: Marketing.



Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision-making. The authors may have disguised names; financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.


Sattar, M.M. (2020), "Al-Ain eye centre: sales force evaluation dilemma", , Vol. 10 No. 2.



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