Frank V. Cespedes

MBA Class of 1973 Senior Lecturer of Business Administration

Unit: Entrepreneurial Management

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(617) 495-5122

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Frank Cespedes is Senior Lecturer in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit. He received his B.A. from the City College of New York, M.S. from M.I.T. and Ph.D. from Cornell University.

At Harvard, he has developed and taught a variety of MBA and executive courses, led the Strategic Marketing Management program for senior executives, and was co-lead of the Sustainable Market Leadership program for CEOs and their leadership teams. He currently teaches the required TEM course and the elective Business Marketing and Sales course in the MBA program as well as modules in the Owner President Management (OPM) executive program and he heads the executive program on "Aligning Strategy and Sales."

Before joining the faculty, he was a Research Associate at Harvard and worked at Bain & Company, an international strategy consulting firm. From 1995 to 2007, he was Managing Partner at the Center for Executive Development (CED), a firm that won awards in the United States and Europe for its work with companies worldwide.  He has consulted to companies in many industries, is affiliated with private-equity investors, and has been a Board member of Evenflo, HALO Industries, start-up firms, and the Education for Employment Foundation (EEF), which provides career training in skills linked directly to job placement with companies in the Middle East and North Africa. 

He is the author or co-author of six books, including Aligning Strategy and Sales: The Choices, Systems, and Behaviors that Drive Effective Selling (Harvard Business Review Press, 2014), Concurrent Marketing: Integrating Product, Sales and Service(Harvard Business School Press) and Going to Market: Distribution Systems for Industrial Products (Harvard Business School Press); as well as articles in Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Strategy and Business, Business Horizons, California Management Review, International Encyclopedia of Business and Management, Journal of Managerial Issues, Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, Marketing Encyclopedia, Organization ScienceSloan Management Review, and Strategy & Business. He has also written more than 40 case studies about companies and numerous technical notes on various business topics.

Publications

Books

Journal Articles

  1. How to Identify the Best Customers for Your Business

    How can businesses achieve profitable growth so that their costs don’t grow faster than sales? This article focuses on scaling a venture’s sales process and provides a methodology for identifying core customers and some implications for governance criteria and potential product changes as well as sales management.

    Keywords: Customer Relationship Management; Growth Management; Sales;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., James P. Dougherty, and Ben S. Skinner III. "How to Identify the Best Customers for Your Business ." MIT Sloan Management Review 54, no. 2 (Winter 2013): 53–59. View Details
  2. Selling to Many Countries Within the U.S.

    In pursuing growth, many companies have plans to sell to emerging markets like the so-called B-R-I-C nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China), but they overlook significant ethnic markets within the United States. For example, the combined African-American and Hispanic markets in the U.S. are larger than the economies of all but 13 countries, and more than 2 million people in the U.S. speak Chinese. The article discusses why many "multicultural marketing" efforts are both limited and limiting, and how firms can go beyond demographic data to craft effective strategies for selling to ethnic markets within the U.S.

    Keywords: Management Style; Ethnicity Characteristics; Sales; Business Growth and Maturation; Marketing Communications; Business Plan; Emerging Markets; Debates; Business Strategy; Growth and Development; Growth and Development Strategy; United States;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., and Michael Wong. "Selling to Many Countries Within the U.S." MIT Sloan Management Review 52, no. 1 (Fall 2010). View Details
  3. Book review of Contemporary Perspectives on Strategic Market Planning, by Kerin, Roger A., Vijay Mahajan, and P. Rajan Varadarajan, Allyn and Bacon, 1990.

    Keywords: Information; Perspective; Strategy; Markets; Planning;

Book Chapters

  1. Coordinating Marketing and Sales in B2B Organizations

    This chapter focuses on the topic of coordinating marketing and sales in Business-to-Business (B2B) organizations. It provides an historical overview, indicating that this is not a new issue facing firms, that the business press has outlined a recurring set of prescriptive advice about the topic to practitioners, and why (despite its recurring nature) that advice seems to have limited usefulness. The chapter then reviews some common delineations of marketing and sales activities in companies and the implications. Finally, the chapter concludes with a sample of what B2B companies have done in their attempts to improve marketing-sales coordination, including suggestions for future research.

    Keywords: Marketing; Practice; Research; Sales;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Coordinating Marketing and Sales in B2B Organizations." In Handbook of Business-to-Business Marketing, edited by Gary L. Lilien and Rajdeep Grewal. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Clef Company: Turnover

    The Clef case focuses on the issue of turnover in a firm's sales force. Students must analyze the factors contributing to turnover as well as the role of the field sales force in Clef's profitable business strategy. Among other things, the Clef case illustrates that managing field marketing requirements entails managing individual people but also a certain aggregate call capacity and a set of sales tasks determined by business strategy. In turn, that analysis of strategy-sales linkages often changes students' minds about what to do about turnover in Clef's sales force.

    Keywords: Sales; Marketing; Strategy; Marketing Strategy; Performance Evaluation; Retail Industry; Consumer Products Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Clef Company: Turnover." Harvard Business School Case 814-100, March 2014. View Details
  2. Andrew Sullivan and Faraway Ltd.

    Andrew Sullivan is an entrepreneur with an innovative product and impending sales calls on two important retail buyers. The (A) case provides information about Sullivan, his business, and the economics of his business model. The (B) and (C) cases provide information about each buyer. Sullivan has no previous sales experience and is eager but nervous: "his impending sales calls… could make or break the nascent company."

    Keywords: Sales; Marketing; Entrepreneurship; Retail Industry; Consumer Products Industry; England;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Andrew Sullivan and Faraway Ltd." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 814-101, March 2014. View Details
  3. Clique Pens: The Writing Implements Division of U.S. Home

    The Clique Pens Writing Implements division of U.S. Home is a manufacturer of a full line of pens, pencils, markers, and art supplies. Despite solid sales, division president Elise Ferguson has seen gross margins drop from 42% in 2010 to just over 36% in 2012 as a result of various discounts, allowances, and other off-invoice deals. She is now considering a move away from these discounts in favor of Market Development Funds (MDF), which would be used explicitly to promote retail merchandising activity for Clique and in theory provide the company with more control of trade promotional dollars to influence consumer behavior. Along the way, Ferguson must consider the structure and problems of various trade promotions and the conflicting needs of her sales and marketing departments. This case introduces basic elements of promotion and pricing policy and the challenges of marketing through major mass retailers.

    Keywords: Production; Marketing Strategy; Distribution Channels; Compensation and Benefits; Sales; Manufacturing Industry; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., and James Kindley. "Clique Pens: The Writing Implements Division of U.S. Home." Harvard Business School Brief Case 914-525, December 2013. View Details
  4. Myomo: Getting Sales in Motion

    In late 2012, the management team of Myomo, a startup which had designed a unique myoelectric arm brace for patients with dysfunctional arms, was deciding which of the three sales models the company had tested to pursue as its sales strategy going forward. Each model had its own unique merits and risks. The team planned to fully examine each strategy to determine how to best get the brace into the hands of those who needed it most, the patients, and identify which one enabled Myomo to grow.

    Keywords: Technological Innovation; Technology; Marketing Strategy; Decision Choices and Conditions; Health Care and Treatment; Business Startups; Sales; Growth and Development Strategy; Medical Devices and Supplies Industry; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., Shikhar Ghosh, and Matthew Preble. "Myomo: Getting Sales in Motion." Harvard Business School Case 814-034, October 2013. View Details
  5. Ron Ventura at Mitchell Memorial Hospital

    Mitchell Memorial Hospital is a 750-bed regional academic medical center in Ohio. Andy Prescott, Chief of the Cardiovascular Center, is reviewing the performance evaluations of his star vascular surgeon Ron Ventura. The evaluations, the result of a 360-degree performance review cycle the hospital had recently put in place, were much more critical than he had anticipated. Ventura, with a national reputation as an accomplished vascular surgeon, had improved the vascular surgery practice enormously in his short tenure at Mitchell Memorial and generated much new case flow for the hospital. Ventura is also, as the evaluation packet made clear, sharp-tongued, impatient, and abrasive. Prescott knows that the Cardiovascular Center needs team players, but he also has a responsibility to improve the performance of the vascular surgery practice, and Ventura is critical to that effort. Now Ventura's contract is up for renewal. Although Prescott recruited Ventura and gave strong support in his first months, other surgeons are now considering leaving the hospital, HR is getting complaints from the nursing staff and the residency programs, and many point to Ventura's behavior as the cause. Prescott wonders whether Ventura's actions violate Mitchell Memorial's cultural norms focused on teamwork and collaboration and whether or not his contract with the hospital should be renewed. Students must consider approaches to the upcoming performance feedback interview between Prescott and Ventura.

    Keywords: Performance Expectations; Conflict Management; Behavior; Groups and Teams; Organizational Culture; Resignation and Termination; Health Care and Treatment; Performance Evaluation; Health Industry; Ohio;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., and Heide Abelli. "Ron Ventura at Mitchell Memorial Hospital." Harvard Business School Brief Case 913-572, June 2013. View Details
  6. Launching Krispy Natural: Cracking the Product Management Code (Brief Case)

    This case study concerns a review and interpretation of test market results for a new packaged good product. The purpose of the case is to provide students with practice and guidelines in the analysis of quantitative test market data while illustrating the roles of managerial judgment and organizational context in interpreting "hard" data.

    Keywords: Data and Data Sets; Analysis; Product Marketing;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., and Heather Beckham. "Launching Krispy Natural: Cracking the Product Management Code (Brief Case)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 913-575, May 2013. View Details
  7. Launching Krispy Natural: Cracking the Product Management Code

    Pemberton Products is a U.S. market leader in the cookie and bakery snacks segment of the sweet snack market. Looking to expand into the salty snack market, the company acquires Krispy Inc., a maker of salty snack crackers located in the southeastern U.S. To compete with premium cracker brands, Pemberton plans to reformulate and re-launch the Krispy brand as "Krispy Natural," which offers natural ingredients, improved taste, and revised packaging. Market tests in Columbus, Ohio show market share results that are double the company projections while results in 3 cities in the southeastern U.S. fall well below expectations. The marketing director must interpret the market test results, consider possible competitive responses to the new brand, and present his recommendation for a national rollout to the VP of sales and marketing.

    Keywords: Data and Data Sets; Competition; Organizational Culture; Management Teams; Brands and Branding; Expansion; Marketing Strategy; Product Launch; Acquisition; Food and Beverage Industry; Ohio; United States;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., and Heather Beckham. "Launching Krispy Natural: Cracking the Product Management Code." Harvard Business School Brief Case 913-574, May 2013. View Details
  8. Robin Ash and Printzhof Press

    Robin Ash has just been promoted to Chief Operating Officer of Printzhof Press and Vice President of its parent company, Education and Entertainment Holdings, Inc. Her first objective is to create an action plan that will achieve two seemingly contradictory corporate objectives: transform Printzhof into an aggressively competitive 21st century educational publisher while maintaining its close-knit and collaborative culture. Because of new technologies changing how information is delivered and used in higher education, the need for the company to evolve along with the publishing industry is obvious to Ash and other company leaders. However, Printzhof's history of success has resulted in resistance to organizational change among many longtime employees and senior managers. Still, Ash must revitalize Printzhof without destroying employee morale and loyalty. How far and how fast should she move on the critical priorities she has identified?

    Keywords: United States; Organizational change; management styles; organizational culture; general management; change management; morale; communication; human resource management; competitive strategy; Book Publishing; Technology; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Conflict Management; Leading Change; Competitive Strategy; Organizational Culture; Planning; Education Industry; Publishing Industry;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., and Lynda St. Clair. "Robin Ash and Printzhof Press." Harvard Business School Brief Case 913-554, March 2013. View Details
  9. Andrew Ryan at VC Brakes

    An aftermarket brake component manufacturer, VC Brakes, is bought out by a global automotive parts corporation after the 2008 financial crisis. Unlike its previous parent company, the new owner attempts to change VC Brakes' autocratic management style and finger-pointing culture with a Total Quality Management (TQM) program. Andrew Ryan is a senior manager at VC Brakes. With the guidance of a strong mentor and a reputation as a successful change agent, he is selected as a TQM site instructor. His initial excitement turns to concern when organizational challenges cause the quality initiative to falter. A subsequent restructuring puts Ryan on the wrong side of politics and he must decide whether to leave VC Brakes or stay with the losing initiative.

    Keywords: organizational culture; Quality Management; crisis management; change management; human resource management; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Quality; Change Management; Leading Change; Restructuring; Management Practices and Processes; Problems and Challenges; Auto Industry;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., and Sunru Yong. "Andrew Ryan at VC Brakes." Harvard Business School Brief Case 913-552, January 2013. View Details
  10. Andrew Sullivan and Faraway Ltd (C): Anthony Pierce of John Lewis

    The "Andrew Sullivan and Faraway Ltd" case series focuses on entrepreneurial selling, and is based on an older case study, "Deaver Brown and Cross River Inc." (9-394-042). It concerns two entrepreneurs, Andrew Sullivan and Hope Abasi, who have designed an innovative pushchair (baby stroller) and, a year later, are looking for an order from a large retailer. The case requires students to prepare, deliver, and evaluate Sullivan's sales calls on two important retail buyers, Sam Cartwright of Mothercare and Anthony Pierce of John Lewis. The main case provides relevant background information about Faraway's market opportunity, business model economics, and scaling requirements. The (B) case provides information about Sam Cartwright's view of his job and supplier issues. The (C) case does the same for Anthony Pierce.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Management; Sales; Marketing; Consumer Products Industry; United Kingdom;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., and Alex Godden. "Andrew Sullivan and Faraway Ltd (C): Anthony Pierce of John Lewis." Harvard Business School Supplement 813-106, November 2012. View Details
  11. Andrew Sullivan and Faraway Ltd (B): Sam Cartwright of Mothercare

    The "Andrew Sullivan and Faraway Ltd" case series focuses on entrepreneurial selling, and is based on an older case study, "Deaver Brown and Cross River Inc." (9-394-042). It concerns two entrepreneurs, Andrew Sullivan and Hope Abasi, who have designed an innovative pushchair (baby stroller) and, a year later, are looking for an order from a large retailer. The case requires students to prepare, deliver, and evaluate Sullivan's sales calls on two important retail buyers, Sam Cartwright of Mothercare and Anthony Pierce of John Lewis. The main case provides relevant background information about Faraway's market opportunity, business model economics, and scaling requirements. The (B) case provides information about Sam Cartwright's view of his job and supplier issues. The (C) case does the same for Anthony Pierce.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Sales; Marketing; Management; Consumer Products Industry; United Kingdom;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., and Alex Godden. "Andrew Sullivan and Faraway Ltd (B): Sam Cartwright of Mothercare." Harvard Business School Supplement 813-105, November 2012. View Details
  12. Andrew Sullivan and Faraway Ltd

    The "Andrew Sullivan and Faraway Ltd" case series focuses on entrepreneurial selling, and is based on an older case study, "Deaver Brown and Cross River Inc." (9-394-042). It concerns two entrepreneurs, Andrew Sullivan and Hope Abasi, who have designed an innovative pushchair (baby stroller) and, a year later, are looking for an order from a large retailer. The case requires students to prepare, deliver, and evaluate Sullivan's sales calls on two important retail buyers, Sam Cartwright of Mothercare and Anthony Pierce of John Lewis. The main case provides relevant background information about Faraway's market opportunity, business model economics, and scaling requirements. The (B) case provides information about Sam Cartwright's view of his job and supplier issues. The (C) case does the same for Anthony Pierce.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Marketing; Sales; Management; Consumer Products Industry; United Kingdom;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., and Alex Godden. "Andrew Sullivan and Faraway Ltd." Harvard Business School Case 813-104, November 2012. View Details
  13. PV Technologies, Inc.: Were They Asleep at the Switch?

    PV Technologies, Inc. is an industry-leading manufacturer of photovoltaic inverters used to convert the direct current output of solar panels into alternating current for the commercial power grid. In conjunction with a request for proposal, the company's largest customer performs a routine evaluation and ranks PV Technologies third behind two key competitors. The director of sales and marketing must weigh the possible consequences of the report on the company's reputation while considering an appropriate response. Students must complete a quantitative analysis of four possible courses of action and make a recommendation.

    Keywords: Marketing Strategy; Customer Relationship Management; Competitive Strategy; Product Marketing; Energy Industry; Technology Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., and Diane Badame. "PV Technologies, Inc.: Were They Asleep at the Switch?" Harvard Business School Brief Case 913-505, June 2012. View Details
  14. Customer Discovery and Validation for Entrepreneurs

    Provides practical guidelines for conducting market research to explore and validate demand for entrepreneurial offering. Explains how the research objectives of entrepreneurs might differ from those relevant to managers evaluating product or service offerings to established markets. For each of several research techniques, specifies conditions under which the technique is most likely to yield valuable insights; describes how the technique should be adapted for use in an entrepreneurial context; and offers tips and cautions about applying the technique. The techniques include customer surveys, usability tests, market trials, split tests, and Net Promoter Score. Appendices discuss the use of focus groups and conjoint analysis in an entrepreneurial context. The Note is therefore suitable for use in MBA, Executive Education, Field Study, or project contexts where the focus is startups, new business development, product development, or innovation.

    Keywords: Customer Value and Value Chain; Entrepreneurship;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., Thomas Eisenmann, and Steven G. Blank. "Customer Discovery and Validation for Entrepreneurs." Harvard Business School Background Note 812-097, November 2011. (Revised August 2012.) View Details
  15. Customer Visits for Entrepreneurs

    Provides practical guidelines for conducting customer visits to explore and validate demand for an entrepreneurial offering. Reviews conditions under which visits will yield superior insights, compared to other research methods. Describes criteria for selecting visit sites; how to plan for visits; how to conduct them most effectively; and how to debrief after visits. The note is therefore relevant to MBA, Executive Education, Field Study, or project contexts where the focus is startups, entrepreneurial management, new product development, business development, or innovation.

    Keywords: Customers; Entrepreneurship;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Customer Visits for Entrepreneurs." Harvard Business School Background Note 812-098, November 2011. (Revised August 2012.) View Details
  16. Olympia Machine Company, Inc.

    The management team of an industrial equipment supplier is debating the company's method of compensating salespeople. Different executives have offered different alternatives to the current method of straight salary plus expenses. Each option has different implications for business strategy, organization, control systems, and sales management requirements. As a result, the case raises issues and analytics relevant to topics such as aligning strategy and organization, strategy implementation, and cross-functional incentive systems as well as sales management.

    Keywords: Governance Controls; Compensation and Benefits; Mission and Purpose; Salesforce Management; Motivation and Incentives; Business Strategy; Industrial Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., and Benson P. Shapiro. "Olympia Machine Company, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 708-490, February 2008. (Revised August 2011.) View Details
  17. Pricing, Profits, and Customer Value

    This note discusses how some firms (start-ups and established companies) maximize customer value and profits via their pricing processes. It is aimed at companies that compete on the basis of performance initiatives rather than absolute cost advantages and low price. It is suitable for use in courses or modules in pricing, entrepreneurial management, strategy, or marketing.

    Keywords: Customer Focus and Relationships; Customer Value and Value Chain; Cost; Price; Profit; Performance Effectiveness; Sales; Competitive Strategy;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., Benson P. Shapiro, and Elliot B. Ross. "Pricing, Profits, and Customer Value." Harvard Business School Background Note 811-016, September 2010. (Revised August 2011.) View Details
  18. Curled Metal Inc.—Engineered Products Division

    Curled Metal Incorporated has declining sales but has developed a new product (curled metal pile driver pads) that, in field tests, deliver customer benefits that are many times CMI's manufacturing costs. Joseph Fernandez and Rajiv Sanwal of CMI's Engineered Products Division are responsible for formulating a strategy for the new product. A key issue is the price to charge for the pads. The case raises issues of analyzing market potential, aligning price with business strategy, and the implications of a price on development and execution of integrated strategic options.

    Keywords: Price; Product Launch; Product Positioning; Business Strategy;

    Citation:

    Shapiro, Benson P., and Frank V. Cespedes. "Curled Metal Inc.—Engineered Products Division." Harvard Business School Case 709-434, October 2008. (Revised March 2011.) View Details
  19. Hearts On Fire - Brand Development Manager

    Hearts On Fire, a successful branded diamond producer, established the position of Brand Development Manager (BDM) to build the company's presence, sales, and relationships with its retail customers. After one year, the CEO, CFO and President must evaluate the impact of the BDM on retail customers, the type of person required to be successful in this position, internal coordination issues with the company's sales force, and the financial returns versus other uses of capital for the company. The case raises issues in aligning business strategy and sales management systems, motivating and managing resellers, people selection, and financial analysis of alternatives.

    Keywords: Customer Focus and Relationships; Investment Return; Brands and Branding; Marketing Strategy; Business Processes; Salesforce Management; Business Strategy;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., and Benson P. Shapiro. "Hearts On Fire - Brand Development Manager." Harvard Business School Case 709-436, September 2008. (Revised June 2010.) View Details
  20. Wal-Mart Stores in 2003 (Abridged Version)

    Examines Wal-Mart's development over three decades and provides financial and descriptive detail of its domestic operations. In 2003, Wal-Mart's Supercenter business has surpassed its domestic business as the largest generator of revenues. Its international operation seems poised to become the next growth driver for the company as it marches toward the trillion dollar sales mark. But problems are starting to surface even as the company is winning recognition as the number one company in the Fortune 500--unions keep pressuring Its minimum-wage employees and allegations of gender discrimination are alleged.

    Keywords: Equality and Inequality; Business Growth and Maturation; Competitive Advantage; Labor Unions; Operations; Global Strategy; Problems and Challenges; Gender Characteristics; Retail Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Wal-Mart Stores in 2003 (Abridged Version)." Harvard Business School Case 709-423, December 2008. (Revised October 2009.) View Details
  21. Cola Wars: Going Global

    This case is meant to be used in conjunction with the extant "Cola Wars" case studies. It outlines the global positions of Pepsi and Coca-Cola as of 2008 in the soft drink market, and then provides an overview of their competitive situations in three markets: Mexico, China, and India. The case raises the issue of whether any or all of these markets are a) structurally attractive for soft drink firms, and b) if so, how can Pepsi best "catch-up" with Coca-Cola in a given market.

    Keywords: Global Strategy; Globalized Firms and Management; Industry Structures; Competitive Strategy; Competitive Advantage; Food and Beverage Industry; China; India; Mexico;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Cola Wars: Going Global." Harvard Business School Case 709-451, December 2008. (Revised September 2009.) View Details
  22. Intuit

    This case study provides an overview of Intuit's growth and, in particular, the sales and service initiatives that historically fueled the company's growth from start-up to a corporation. It also outlines certain processes and cultural values, as well as specific employee and leadership behaviors, that provided the foundation for those initiatives.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Product; Service Delivery; Business Processes; Organizational Culture; Sales; Business Strategy;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Intuit." Harvard Business School Case 810-018, August 2009. View Details
  23. Cabot Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

    Traces the 12-year career of a pharmaceutical salesperson, Bob Marsh, from recruitment to termination. Marsh has had an uneven career with Cabot Pharmaceuticals and eventually is asked to resign. Following his termination, a number of Marsh's former customers complain vigorously, and Cabot's vice president of sales is asked to investigate the matter and to decide what, if anything, to do about it. The case raises issues in aligning strategy and sales systems, performance evaluation criteria, and on-going performance management processes in field selling situations.

    Keywords: Customer Relationship Management; Employees; Resignation and Termination; Performance Evaluation; Salesforce Management; Alignment; Pharmaceutical Industry;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., and John T. Gourville. "Cabot Pharmaceuticals, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 510-030, August 2009. (Revised August 2012.) View Details
  24. The Springfield Nor'easters: Maximizing Revenues in the Minor Leagues (Brief Case)

    Teaching Note for 2510

    Keywords: Market research; Quantitative analysis; Consumer marketing; Pricing strategy;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., Christopher H. Lovelock, and Laura Winig. "The Springfield Nor'easters: Maximizing Revenues in the Minor Leagues (Brief Case)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 082-511, July 2008. (Revised May 2009.) View Details
  25. Live Nation Faces the Music (B)

    In 2008, concert producer and promoter Live Nation, faces a decision about its strategy in light of the tumultuous changes in the music industry and the increasing power of the major artists. As the music business once again recreates itself in response to new technologies and consumer needs, this major player is considering focusing on its principal business of concert booking and related revenue, or moving forward with its efforts to take advantage of new opportunities in the music industry by forging comprehensive, and often expensive, relationships with artists and other clients. The (B) case picks up Live Nation's activities from July 2008 through January 2009, as a supplement to Live Nation (A).

    Keywords: Arts; Transformation; Revenue; Framework; Five Forces Framework; Demand and Consumers; Industry Structures; Relationships; Opportunities; Power and Influence; Business Strategy; Music Industry;

    Citation:

    Bradley, Stephen P., Frank V. Cespedes, and Kerry Herman. "Live Nation Faces the Music (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 709-465, January 2009. View Details
  26. Peripheral Products Company: The 'Gray Market' for Disk Drives

    In mid-1985, the vice president of marketing for a large manufacturer of disk drives is considering how to deal with a growing "gray market" for his company's products. The case provides good background material on the evolution of gray markets throughout the disk drive industry, and raises related issues of pricing policies, distribution strategy, and sales force management. A condensed version of Note on the Disk Drive Industry, and Peripheral Products Co.

    Keywords: Price; Growth and Development; Code Law; Leadership; Marketing; Distribution; Production; Salesforce Management; Strategy; Distribution Industry;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Peripheral Products Company: The 'Gray Market' for Disk Drives." Harvard Business School Case 586-124, January 1986. (Revised November 2006.) View Details
  27. Aspects of Sales Management: An Introduction

    Discusses certain general issues that affect sales-management requirements in most companies: 1) the nature of the salesperson's "boundary role" in the organization, and 2) the relevance and limits of compensation policies as a key means of affecting the salesperson's effective performance of that role. Also presents concepts and perspectives useful in analyzing sales situations encountered in case studies and on the job.

    Keywords: Salesforce Management;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Aspects of Sales Management: An Introduction." Harvard Business School Background Note 589-061, October 1988. (Revised November 2006.) View Details
  28. Managing Selling and the Salesperson

    Written for a module in the Marketing Implementation course (a second-year elective in the MBA program). Provides a brief introduction to common issues involved in recruiting, training, compensating, and evaluating field salespeople. Also offers questions to consider concerning these topics in case analysis.

    Keywords: Salesforce Management;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Managing Selling and the Salesperson." Harvard Business School Background Note 590-043, October 1989. (Revised November 2006.) View Details
  29. Deployment, Focus, and Measuring Effectiveness

    Written for a module in the Marketing Implementation course (second-year MBA elective). Offers a framework for considering relevant factors that affect sales force deployment and criteria for measuring sales effectiveness and the conduct of field marketing efforts.

    Keywords: Performance Effectiveness; Sales; Marketing;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Deployment, Focus, and Measuring Effectiveness." Harvard Business School Background Note 590-044, October 1989. (Revised November 2006.) View Details
  30. Channel Management

    Written as an introduction to a module concerning channel management for the second-year MBA elective in Marketing Implementation. Discusses: 1) reasons for the growth of multichannel systems in marketing efforts, 2) key components and choices in channel management, 3) major factors that affect producer-reseller relations, and 4) a framework for analyzing common trade-offs between control and resources in most distribution systems.

    Keywords: Marketing Channels;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Channel Management." Harvard Business School Background Note 590-045, October 1989. (Revised November 2006.) View Details
  31. Becton Dickinson & Company: VACUTAINER Systems Division (Condensed)

    Becton Dickinson, a phenomenally successful company with an 80% market share in the blood collection needles and syringes market faces a change in the customer buying environment (cost containment pressures at hospitals). This forces a reevaluation of the company's highly successful product policy and channel strategy. One of the company's largest customers threatens to leave them for refusing their "low-price" request. It is obvious to students that giving in to this customer's threat would compromise the company's "value-added" thrust, yet the potential business at stake makes it difficult to be inflexible.

    Keywords: Business Divisions; Customer Satisfaction; Demand and Consumers; Market Participation; Distribution Channels; Success; Corporate Strategy; Value Creation; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Rangan, V. Kasturi, and Frank V. Cespedes. "Becton Dickinson & Company: VACUTAINER Systems Division (Condensed)." Harvard Business School Case 592-037, October 1991. (Revised August 2000.) View Details
  32. Astra/Merck Group

    Astra/Merck (A/M), originally a joint venture of AB Astra and Merck & Co., is preparing to be an independent company in 1993. Since the company does not engage in basic research and development of drugs, it is essentially a distribution organization. Fundamental to A/M's strategy is a new approach to the marketing of prescription drugs. The case outlines this approach, developments in the pharmaceuticals industry, and issues raised by A/M's attempts to implement a new marketing process in an industry where promotion-oriented "detailing" has dominated distribution practices.

    Keywords: Cost vs Benefits; Marketing Strategy; Distribution; Performance Evaluation; Research and Development; Risk and Uncertainty; Sales; Competitive Strategy; Pharmaceutical Industry;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., and Marie Bell. "Astra/Merck Group." Harvard Business School Case 594-045, March 1994. (Revised March 1995.) View Details
  33. Dendrite International

    Dendrite International is a $23 million (1992 revenues) supplier of sales automation software to pharmaceuticals companies in Europe, Japan, and the United States. The firm's strategy has depended on being a full-service supplier to multinational firms. Impending changes in the pharmaceuticals industry, as well as technological and competitive developments, have raised issues concerning the best means of future growth and accompanying account-management procedures.

    Keywords: Accounting Audits; Cost vs Benefits; Forecasting and Prediction; Marketing Strategy; Risk and Uncertainty; Sales; Competitive Advantage; Information Technology Industry; Japan; Europe; United States;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., and Marie Bell. "Dendrite International." Harvard Business School Case 594-048, October 1993. (Revised February 1995.) View Details
  34. MCI Vision (A) (Condensed)

    Concerns the development, introduction, and first-year sales performance of Vision, a telecommunications service aimed at small- and medium-sized businesses. Introduced in 1990, Vision surpassed goals in that year, but was significantly below target in the first quarter of 1991. A divisional vice president must analyze the situation and recommend appropriate actions.

    Keywords: Change Management; Cost vs Benefits; Decision Choices and Conditions; Goals and Objectives; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Marketing Strategy; Product; Sales; Competitive Strategy; Valuation;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "MCI Vision (A) (Condensed)." Harvard Business School Case 594-057, October 1993. (Revised February 1995.) View Details
  35. Becton Dickinson & Co.: Multidivisional Marketing Programs

    In response to a potential competitive inroad at a key account, managers at Becton Dickinson are considering a multidivisional marketing effort.

    Keywords: Marketing Communications; Accounting Audits; Management; Supply Chain Management; Organizations; Sales; Change Management; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Becton Dickinson & Co.: Multidivisional Marketing Programs." Harvard Business School Case 594-060, October 1993. (Revised November 1994.) View Details
  36. Becton Dickinson Division: Marketing Organization

    The marketing director for the largest division of a health care products company is reviewing the structure and staffing of the division's marketing organization. The division has authorization to hire an additional marketing manager. Hence, the immediate case decisions are: 1) whether to hire an additional manager; and 2) if so, what should be the role and responsibilities of a new manager within the marketing organization. Industry developments, budgetary considerations, and changing field sales and service requirements make this a complex decision with larger implications for the division's marketing strategy and implementation.

    Keywords: Business Conglomerates; Health Care and Treatment; Human Resources; Recruitment; Selection and Staffing; Managerial Roles; Product Marketing; Measurement and Metrics; Organizational Structure; Strategy; Consumer Products Industry; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Becton Dickinson Division: Marketing Organization." Harvard Business School Case 593-070, December 1992. (Revised November 1994.) View Details
  37. Hewlett-Packard Imaging Systems Division: Sonos 100 C/F Introduction

    The marketing manager for the Imaging Systems business unit (ISY) at Hewlett-Packard Medical Products Group is considering channel strategy and channel management issues raised by the upcoming introduction of a new cardiac imaging product. Product marketing's plans call for the use of indirect distribution channels to enter a new segment; important managers in ISY's direct sales force disagree.

    Keywords: Marketing Channels; Product Marketing; Product Launch; Market Entry and Exit; Distribution Channels; Sales; Competitive Strategy;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., and Marie Bell. "Hewlett-Packard Imaging Systems Division: Sonos 100 C/F Introduction." Harvard Business School Case 593-080, February 1993. (Revised September 1994.) View Details
  38. MEM Company, Inc.: English Leather

    In 1992, the president of MEM (a producer of personal care products, including men's fragrances) considered a redeployment of field sales efforts and changes in sales compensation policies. Any changes, moreover, must consider the context of strategic decisions concerning English Leather, the firm's major product line. The case provides data concerning consumer behavior and attitudes in the product category, as well as information concerning how changes in competition and distribution channels affect the brand.

    Keywords: Change Management; Decision Choices and Conditions; Brands and Branding; Product Positioning; Consumer Behavior; Distribution Channels; Business Strategy; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., and Laura Goode. "MEM Company, Inc.: English Leather." Harvard Business School Case 593-035, September 1992. (Revised July 1994.) View Details
  39. Packaged Products Company: Handy-Pak Introduction

    The product manager and the market research director for a new line of snacking nuts are reviewing options concerning the upcoming roll-out of the product. These options include changes in pricing, promotional plans, and salesforce incentives intended to build support for the products across the various distribution and trade channels required for targeted sales goals.

    Keywords: Price; Marketing; Marketing Channels; Product Launch; Distribution; Planning; Research and Development; Sales; Salesforce Management; Alignment; Consumer Products Industry; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., and Laura Goode. "Packaged Products Company: Handy-Pak Introduction." Harvard Business School Case 593-057, November 1992. (Revised June 1994.) View Details
  40. MCI Communications Corporation: National Accounts Program (Condensed)

    Concerns the early stages of a major-account program at MCI, a telecommunications firm seeking to penetrate the corporate-account market. Among the issues are: 1) coordination of field sales efforts with national account selling efforts; 2) sales strategy for major accounts; and 3) core sales-management decisions: the selection of account teams, demarcation of account responsibilities, compensation plans, and training issues.

    Keywords: Accounting; Decision Choices and Conditions; Training; Compensation and Benefits; Management Practices and Processes; Marketing Strategy; Groups and Teams; Sales;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "MCI Communications Corporation: National Accounts Program (Condensed)." Harvard Business School Case 593-044, October 1992. (Revised October 1993.) View Details
  41. Cooper Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

    Traces the 12-year career of a pharmaceutical salesperson, Bob Marsh, from recruitment to termination. Mr. Marsh has had an uneven career with Cooper Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CPI) and, after a probationary period, is asked to resign. Following his termination, a number of Marsh's former customers complain vigorously, and CPI's vice president of sales is asked to investigate the matter and to decide what, if anything, to do about it. A rewritten version of an earlier case by D.A. Newton.

    Keywords: Decision Making; Resignation and Termination; Personal Development and Career; Problems and Challenges; Core Relationships;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Cooper Pharmaceuticals, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 590-111, May 1990. (Revised October 1993.) View Details
  42. Turner Construction Co.

    In June, 1984, a vice president at Turner Construction Co. must decide whether to approve a construction project being considered by one of Turner's territorial offices and how to manage that territory general manager's apparent reluctance to pursue another account that has important strategic value for Turner. A key issue is the appropriate marketing organization for the firm: Turner is highly decentralized geographically (in order to maximize operating efficiencies and presence in local markets), but buying behavior in some important market segments is increasingly national and centralized. The case also provides much information about the selling process and account/project management tasks in the general contracting business.

    Keywords: Organizational Structure; Projects; Market Entry and Exit; Integration; Contracts; Marketing Strategy; Sales; Business or Company Management; Business Offices; Geographic Location; Construction Industry;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Turner Construction Co." Harvard Business School Case 585-031, January 1985. (Revised June 1993.) View Details
  43. American Mobile Satellite Corporation

    American Mobile Satellite Corp. (AMSC) has a license to provide wireless mobile communications via satellite throughout the United States and 200 miles of coastal waters. The first satellite launch is scheduled for 1994 and, in the interim, AMSC is providing limited services via another company's satellites. In mid-1992, AMSC's president is making decisions concerning AMSC's marketing program, including the nature of distribution channels for AMSC services and whether to add high-speed data capabilities to AMSC's product line. A key tension in this case involves the need to maximize capacity utilization of AMSC's satellite (via multiple services and distribution channels) versus the need to focus limited engineering and other product-development resources in a young, resource-constrained company. Illustrates the interdependent nature of product policy, channel, and sales-strategy decisions, while also illustrating typical differences between marketing/sales and product development/engineering in an emerging, technology-sensitive marketplace.

    Keywords: Wireless Technology; Decisions; Distribution Channels; Marketing Strategy; Product Development; Sales; Emerging Markets; Resource Allocation; Performance Capacity; Communications Industry; Information Technology Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., and Laura Goode. "American Mobile Satellite Corporation." Harvard Business School Case 593-038, November 1992. (Revised May 1993.) View Details
  44. MCI Vision (A)

    This case series focuses on divisional marketing and sales efforts concerning Vision, a new telecommunication product intended for the small business marketplace. Vision represents both a significant opportunity, and different field marketing requirements, for MCI. This case concerns a division's attempts to improve Vision's sales in 1991. Options being considered range from revised pricing policies to new customer and salesforce promotions. Illustrates issues concerning the nature of inter-product competition for field sales time and attention, and the coordination issues that arise between corporate and field marketing units. More generally, the cases are a good vehicle for discussing 1) product-sales-service linkages in a rapidly changing business and in a company with few formal barriers between these functions, and 2) issues involved in introducing new products and new selling strategies where field applications development is a key task.

    Keywords: Change Management; Marketing Strategy; Product Launch; Product Development; Groups and Teams; Sales; Opportunities; Competitive Strategy;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "MCI Vision (A)." Harvard Business School Case 592-083, February 1992. (Revised December 1992.) View Details
  45. MCI Telecommunications Corp. (C): Data Communications Market Opportunity Assessment

    Keywords: Market Entry and Exit; Communication Technology; Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Cady, John F., and Frank V. Cespedes. "MCI Telecommunications Corp. (C): Data Communications Market Opportunity Assessment." Harvard Business School Case 585-097, August 1984. (Revised May 1992.) View Details
  46. Managing Sales Interfaces: An Introduction

    Concerns issues involved in coordinating sales efforts with product management and customer service activities. First, discusses environmental factors that increase integration requirements among these groups, and why these factors make the field sales force a crucial crossroad in organizing and implementing marketing efforts. Second, outlines some common roles, responsibilities, and interdependencies among product, sales, and service groups in the marketing organization.

    Keywords: Product Marketing; Social Marketing; Multi-Sided Platforms; Groups and Teams; Salesforce Management;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Managing Sales Interfaces: An Introduction." Harvard Business School Background Note 592-068, January 1992. View Details
  47. Becton Dickinson & Co.: VACUTAINER Systems Division

    Concerns negotiations between managers of Becton Dickinson's (BD) VACUTAINER division (which manufactures and sells blood collection products) and managers of a large hospital buying group. Recent changes in the health care industry are the background for the negotiations, which involve the buying group's attempt to negotiate both lower prices and different distribution terms with BD. The case provides background information about important industry changes and the previous history of purchasing and negotiations among BD, the buying group, and important distributors. As well as a pricing-negotiations case, it is a good vehicle for raising issues concerning what factors affect the balance of power in channel relations.

    Keywords: Distribution; Negotiation Participants; Negotiation Process; Price; Sales; Manufacturing Industry; Medical Devices and Supplies Industry; Health Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Becton Dickinson & Co.: VACUTAINER Systems Division." Harvard Business School Case 587-085, October 1986. (Revised November 1989.) View Details
  48. Aspects of Marketing Organization: An Introduction

    Discusses the typical strengths, vulnerabilities, and key management skills associated with three common forms of marketing organization: a product-focused organization, a market-focused organization, and a functionally-focused organization. It considers how the nature of marketing activities varies in each form, the types of skills that are (and are not) developed in each form, and key success factors required to manage within each organization of marketing activities.

    Keywords: Marketing Strategy;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Aspects of Marketing Organization: An Introduction." Harvard Business School Background Note 589-062, October 1988. (Revised October 1989.) View Details
  49. Managing Major Accounts

    Written as an introduction to a module in the second-year MBA course, Marketing Implementation. Discusses issues encountered in the selling and management of major accounts. The topics covered include: 1) reasons for the increasing importance of major account management in sales management and marketing strategy, 2) a framework for account selection, 3) a review of concepts useful in analyzing buying behavior in major-account sales situations, 4) an overview of stages in the development of buyer-seller relationships, and 5) key issues in sales coordination.

    Keywords: Accounting Audits; Marketing; Marketing Strategy; Consumer Behavior; Market Participation; Relationships; Salesforce Management;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Managing Major Accounts." Harvard Business School Background Note 590-046, October 1989. View Details
  50. Alloy Rods Corp.

    In July of 1985 the managers of Alloy Rods (who recently purchased the company through a leveraged buyout arrangement) find that their chief competitor (a company more than 6 times as large as Alloy Rods) has introduced a new product clearly aimed at Alloy's most profitable market segment. Management must frame a response, and a prime focus of the battle will be among distributors. Provides an excellent vehicle for comparing very different channel strategy and channel management philosophies, and also confronts students with the necessity of developing implementable marketing programs within the context of a financially-constrained organization.

    Keywords: Leveraged Buyouts; Business Strategy; Business or Company Management; Financial Strategy; Marketing Strategy; Marketing Channels; Product Development;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Alloy Rods Corp." Harvard Business School Case 586-046, April 1986. (Revised May 1989.) View Details
  51. Fieldcrest Division of Fieldcrest Mills, Inc.: Compensation System for Field Sales Representatives

    Focuses on the compensation plan for Fieldcrest sales representatives. Management is reviewing the structure of the plan and must decide how to establish compensation goals and guidelines for the following year so that sales efforts are allocated among products and/or accounts in the best manner. Provides information about the industry, the competitive environment, recent market developments, and the details of the compensation plan as well as comments by managers and salespeople.

    Keywords: Markets; Competitive Strategy; Compensation and Benefits;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V. "Fieldcrest Division of Fieldcrest Mills, Inc.: Compensation System for Field Sales Representatives." Harvard Business School Case 587-097, November 1986. (Revised June 1987.) View Details
  52. E.T. Phone Home, Inc.: Forecasting Business Demand

    Describes a process for forecasting market demand for an emerging technology--cellular radio. The student must critically evaluate the demand model and the market estimates, and modify them as appropriate in order to develop a marketing plan and budget.

    Keywords: Budgets and Budgeting; Forecasting and Prediction; Marketing Strategy; Demand and Consumers; Business Processes; Technology;

    Citation:

    Cady, John F., and Frank V. Cespedes. "E.T. Phone Home, Inc.: Forecasting Business Demand." Harvard Business School Case 583-121, January 1983. (Revised September 1983.) View Details
  53. MCI Telecommunications Corp. (B): Customer Service Strategy and Organization

    Keywords: Customer Relationship Management; Customer Focus and Relationships; Strategy; Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Cady, John F., and Frank V. Cespedes. "MCI Telecommunications Corp. (B): Customer Service Strategy and Organization." Harvard Business School Case 582-108, February 1982. View Details

Other Publications and Materials

    Research Summary

  1. Performance Pricing and Business Strategy

    This research focuses on companies that have sustained high willingness-to-pay over diverse market conditions, including economic slumps. It examines how firms identify, articulate, and communicate value to selected customer groups and the organizational implications, especially the implications for sales and business development.
  2. Entrepreneurial Management: Customer Discovery and Business Development

    This research focuses on: (a) market research methods and tactics suitable to startups seeking their initial customers and validation of their initial business model; (b) guidelines for conducting visits with potential customers as part of the startup ptrocess; and (c) the issues involved in scaling a venture's sales process after validation of the firm's initial business model and acquisition of initial customers.