Question about sales planning

Roland Berger Case: Onlinestar
Recent activity on Jan 11, 2022
4 Answers
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Xuqi asked on Jan 09, 2022

When I was doing the sales planning, I also calculated the growth rate for the last three years and took an assumption for this year's sales growth. But the answer is not to assume any growth in the company since this is based on last year's data. Is that reasonable?

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Ian
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replied on Jan 10, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi Xuqi,

In real life what you did is correct! In a case, they care more about just assessing certain things. The case may or may not have you assume growth - it's up to the case creator/interviewer.

It's always good to check/ask, but if they say no growth that's perfectly fine for case purposes!

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Luca
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replied on Jan 10, 2022
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello Xuqi,

I don't agree with you and other answers here. Maybe I didn't get your point but the prompt states the following:

Against the background of expected stagnating sales for the current financial year, short-term action is required.

Considering this, I wouldn't expect you to use any sales growth. Generally it's nice to show this proactivity but be sure that you don't go against the case prompt and if you have any doubt, ask your interviewer. 

Best,
Luca

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Clara
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replied on Jan 10, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

That is totally fine, and it furthermore demostrates proactivity, so kudos! 

Written cases like this one don´t allow this type of flexibility, but if you were doing this with a partner or a coach, they would accept this perfectly once explained. 

Cheers, 

Clara

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Hagen
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replied on Jan 11, 2022
Current Bain & Company Project Leader and interviewer | 250+ interviews conducted | 6+ years of coaching and mentoring

Hi Xuqi,

First of all, congratulations on reflecting on your case performance so thoroughly!

This is indeed an interesting question which is probably relevant for quite a lot of users, so I am happy to provide my perspective on it:

  • In the prompt, it is written “Against the background of expected stagnating sales for the current financial year, short-term action is required.” As such, I would advise you to assume no revenue growth in the projection.
  • Still, in real life, your approach would most probably be the correct one since absolutely stable revenues are unrealistic either.

In case you want a more detailed discussion on how to best communicate contingencies, please feel free to contact me directly.

I hope this helps,

Hagen

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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