In January 2022, Maha Research Labs Private Limited (MRL) needed to boost its sales force effectiveness (SFE). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MRL experienced losses in sales revenue and saw dwindling profits through 2020 and 2021. The pandemic had changed the sales ecosystem of the pharmaceutical industry, with many physicians and retailers now preferring online sales presentations. MRL’s managing director was concerned about the increased marketing and selling expenses that were affecting the company’s profitability, and he had identified gaps in the company’s sales process, performance, and SFE. The managing director proposed investing ₹40 million for the implementation of an SFE program, and he had one week to convince his team that this investment would create a smarter, more efficient sales force, restrain operating costs, and generate much-needed profitability for MRL.


This case is designed for use in undergraduate- and graduate-level courses on sales management, or in a sales management course on analyzing SFE. It can also be used to introduce the basic concepts of pharmaceutical selling. Students will analyze the importance of SFE amid changing market dynamics, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. They will also explore the impact of challenges that the pharmaceutical sales force faced, such as restricted physician access and rising competition. The instructor can also use this case to inform students about the different aspects of sales management, customer management, and time management.

After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:

  • Understand the factors affecting sales management.
  • Discuss the job of a medical representative.
  • Discuss the evolution of pharmaceutical selling.
  • Understand the drivers of SFE.
  • Understand the different implementation issues affecting SFE.

To cite this case: Puri, S., Singh, R., Gupta, B., & Puri, S. (2022). Maha Research Labs: Sales force effectiveness. Ivey ID: W27721. London, Canada: Ivey Publishing.

To access this case: https://www.iveypublishing.ca/s/product/maha-research-labs-sales-force-effectiveness/01t5c00000D6fMnAAJ?tabset-ce5e5=f41f5