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Last year, Company X reconfigured its direct sales team to include mor

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Last year, Company X reconfigured its direct sales team to include mor  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Aug 2019, 08:22
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Question Stats:

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Last year, Company X reconfigured its direct sales team to include more experienced sales people. The company spent less time and money training the experienced sales staff than they had found necessary to do with the previous, less experienced staff and they obtained equal direct sales results to the previous year. The more experienced sales staff, however, received higher financial compensation, and what Company X saved on training costs was less than the additional expenditure of financial compensation. Company X concluded that the reconfiguration strategy would not increase profits in the future.

Which of the following would it be most useful to know in order to evaluate the argument?

A. Whether there is a method of sales training that would be generally more effective and less expensive

B. Whether the more experienced sales staff worked fewer hours

C. Whether the training provided by Company X is more expensive than other companies' sales training

D. Whether the company could spend less on training the more experienced staff in the future it would have to spend on less experienced staff, without sacrificing any direct sales

E. Whether the less experienced sales staff had more passion for their work

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Re: Last year, Company X reconfigured its direct sales team to include mor  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Aug 2019, 08:58
Last year, Company X reconfigured its direct sales team to include more experienced sales people. The company spent less time and money training the experienced sales staff than they had found necessary to do with the previous, less experienced staff and they obtained equal direct sales results to the previous year. The more experienced sales staff, however, received higher financial compensation, and what Company X saved on training costs was less than the additional expenditure of financial compensation. Company X concluded that the reconfiguration strategy would not increase profits in the future.

Which of the following would it be most useful to know in order to evaluate the argument?

Let's jot down the points:
Premise: new plan-include exp people
Premise: save time and save cost(money) by investing on less exp people
Premise: exp people make high $$.....$$>money saved
Conclusion: plan won't help make profit

since the paragraph is focusing more on including experienced people and how that plan won't help make profit, the question will mostly be based on them.

A. Whether there is a method of sales training that would be generally more effective and less expensive ANSWER....focuses more on plan effectiveness and cost reduction.

B. Whether the more experienced sales staff worked fewer hours work time? few fours? Out of scope.

C. Whether the training provided by Company X is more expensive than other companies' sales training Comparison with other companies? wrong.

D. Whether the company could spend less on training the more experienced staff in the future it would have to spend on less experienced staff, without sacrificing any direct sales a contender but this question focuses only on spending on training and nothing about how/whether the plan would work.

E. Whether the less experienced sales staff had more passion for their work focuses on qualitative info. irrelevant
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Re: Last year, Company X reconfigured its direct sales team to include mor  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Aug 2019, 09:14
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Last year, Company X reconfigured its direct sales team to include more experienced sales people. The company spent less time and money training the experienced sales staff than they had found necessary to do with the previous, less experienced staff and they obtained equal direct sales results to the previous year. The more experienced sales staff, however, received higher financial compensation, and what Company X saved on training costs was less than the additional expenditure of financial compensation. Company X concluded that the reconfiguration strategy would not increase profits in the future.

Premise 1: Last year, Company X reconfigured its direct sales team to include more experienced sales people.
Premise 2: The company spent less time and money training the experienced sales staff than they had found necessary to do with the previous, less experienced staff and they obtained equal direct sales results to the previous year.
Premise 3: The more experienced sales staff, however, received higher financial compensation, and what Company X saved on training costs was less than the additional expenditure of financial compensation.
Conclusion: Company X concluded that the reconfiguration strategy would not increase profits in the future.

Which of the following would it be most useful to know in order to evaluate the argument?

A. Whether there is a method of sales training that would be generally more effective and less expensive
There is no comparison in training costs for more experienced and less experienced staffs.
B. Whether the more experienced sales staff worked fewer hours
The statement is not relevant to the conclusion.
C. Whether the training provided by Company X is more expensive than other companies' sales training
The statement is not relevant to the conclusion.
D. Whether the company could spend less on training the more experienced staff in the future it would have to spend on less experienced staff, without sacrificing any direct sales
If yes, then it weakens the conclusion since there will be less expenses on training experience staffs and the reconfiguration strategy will increase profits in the future.
If no, then it strengthens the conclusion that the reconfiguration strategy would not increase profits in the future.
E. Whether the less experienced sales staff had more passion for their work
The statement is not relevant to the conclusion.

IMO D
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Re: Last year, Company X reconfigured its direct sales team to include mor  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Aug 2019, 10:43
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Last year, Company X reconfigured its direct sales team to include more experienced sales people. The company spent less time and money training the experienced sales staff than they had found necessary to do with the previous, less experienced staff and they obtained equal direct sales results to the previous year. The more experienced sales staff, however, received higher financial compensation, and what Company X saved on training costs was less than the additional expenditure of financial compensation. Company X concluded that the reconfiguration strategy would not increase profits in the future.

Premise: After reconfiguring the sales team the company spent less time and money training them as compared to what they had spent on less experience staff previously. The results were same in both cases. However, experienced staff got higher compensation an amount more than the savings made by the company on training them.
Conclusion: Reconfiguration strategy would not increase profits in the future.
Based on the analysis above we can think of ways which can reduce the cost and increase the profit keeping the strategy same.

Which of the following would it be most useful to know in order to evaluate the argument?

A. Whether there is a method of sales training that would be generally more effective and less expensive – WRONG. If this is true then Company X might change their strategy to training less experienced sales team in order to save more than what they would by training more experienced sales team.

B. Whether the more experienced sales staff worked fewer hours – WRONG. Even if the experienced sales team work more hours than what they do now it can’t be said that there would be better sales next year.

C. Whether the training provided by Company X is more expensive than other companies' sales training – WRONG. Irrelevant. Not concerned about other companies’ sales training.

D. Whether the company could spend less on training the more experienced staff in the future it would have to spend on less experienced staff, without sacrificing any direct sales – CORRECT. If the company could find a way to spend less on training the experienced staff that it currently spends without losing any sales.

E. Whether the less experienced sales staff had more passion for their work – WRONG. Irrelevant. Even if this is true then training is not required.

IMO Answer (D)
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Re: Last year, Company X reconfigured its direct sales team to include mor  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2019, 01:45
Company X employed experienced sales staff last year, gave them training that took z amount of time and cost b amount of money. The company obtained c direct sales results last year with the experienced sales staff.

Two years ago, the company employed less experienced sales staff, gave them training that took y amount of time and d amount of money. The direct sales recorded from the less experienced staff was c, same as with the experienced staff.

We know that z<y. We also know that b<d.
Total compensation expense paid to the experienced sales staff less d-b is more than financial expenditures on the less experienced staff.

From the question stem, we know the experienced sales staff had extra hours available in the form of the less time spent training them. This means that if the experienced staff actually spent more time working for company X, they should achieve more results in terms of direct sales. Assuming that per hour they even gain the same results as the less experienced staff, surely, with more hours at their disposal they should achieve more results. So it would be very vital to know how much time they spend working for the company in order to fully evaluate the company’s conclusion.

Option A is out because this information can be deduced from the question stem.

B is correct because knowing this additional information will help you determine how effectively the experienced team are working for X.

C is also not necessary because whether the training provided is more expensive or not, it resulted in a lesser overall cost, so this doesn’t provide any additional information for the evaluation.

D spending less time training the more experienced time is irrelevant when the time saved previously did not result in higher productivity, if indeed they use all their time working for X. Hence D is also out.

E. If the less experienced staff had more passion that could result in higher productivity and less passion would result in lower productivity. But if their productivity was that high, then there was no need to for X to consider the services of more experienced staff. E is therefore not as strong as C. Besides, the metrics for measuring passion is not as obvious as finding how many hours the experienced staff spent working for X.

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Re: Last year, Company X reconfigured its direct sales team to include mor  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2019, 02:08
Last year, Company X reconfigured its direct sales team to include more experienced sales people. The company spent less time and money training the experienced sales staff than they had found necessary to do with the previous, less experienced staff and they obtained equal direct sales results to the previous year. The more experienced sales staff, however, received higher financial compensation, and what Company X saved on training costs was less than the additional expenditure of financial compensation. Company X concluded that the reconfiguration strategy would not increase profits in the future.

Which of the following would it be most useful to know in order to evaluate the argument?

A. Whether there is a method of sales training that would be generally more effective and less expensive

B. Whether the more experienced sales staff worked fewer hours

C. Whether the training provided by Company X is more expensive than other companies' sales training

D. Whether the company could spend less on training the more experienced staff in the future it would have to spend on less experienced staff, without sacrificing any direct sales

E. Whether the less experienced sales staff had more passion for their work

=> From question:
Sales Experienced sale staff = inexperienced sale staff
Time and cost for training experienced < inexperienced
Compensation experienced > in experienced
=> conclusion: not increased profits
A. Whether there is a method of sales training that would be generally more effective and less expensive
=> Wrong OFS
B. Whether the more experienced sales staff worked fewer hours
=> Correct because if this statement is true, the conclusion wrong. Experienced staff worked fewer hours => if they work the same hours, they will make more sales. If it is wrong, the conclusion is correct because they work the same hours but produce only the same sales.

C. Whether the training provided by Company X is more expensive than other companies' sales training
=> Wrong, OFS
D. Whether the company could spend less on training the more experienced staff in the future it would have to spend on less experienced staff, without sacrificing any direct sales
=> OFS, this question is not about spending on inexperienced staff

E. Whether the less experienced sales staff had more passion for their work
=> OFS
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Re: Last year, Company X reconfigured its direct sales team to include mor  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Aug 2019, 01:06
Bunuel wrote:

Competition Mode Question



Last year, Company X reconfigured its direct sales team to include more experienced sales people. The company spent less time and money training the experienced sales staff than they had found necessary to do with the previous, less experienced staff and they obtained equal direct sales results to the previous year. The more experienced sales staff, however, received higher financial compensation, and what Company X saved on training costs was less than the additional expenditure of financial compensation. Company X concluded that the reconfiguration strategy would not increase profits in the future.

Which of the following would it be most useful to know in order to evaluate the argument?

A. Whether there is a method of sales training that would be generally more effective and less expensive

B. Whether the more experienced sales staff worked fewer hours

C. Whether the training provided by Company X is more expensive than other companies' sales training

D. Whether the company could spend less on training the more experienced staff in the future it would have to spend on less experienced staff, without sacrificing any direct sales

E. Whether the less experienced sales staff had more passion for their work


Official Explanation



Reading the question: we have an argument, a prediction about the future based on how things have gone after this switch to more experienced salespeople. The question stem asks for what "would be most useful to know"; we will prove by stronger terms and find an assumption central to the argument. Nothing is more useful to know in evaluating an argument than whether its key assumption is correct. A couple of assumptions do come to mind: maybe more experience salespeople will improve their performance faster than the less experienced staff would have. Maybe they will turn over less often. Maybe, though they are more expensive now, their salaries will rise less slowly. So we're expecting an assumption that involves "more experienced improving faster," in terms of performance, or salary, or something else.

Applying the filter: Only (D) matches our filter. Choice (A) does not differentiate between more and less experienced salespeople, so it's immaterial to the prediction the argument is making. (B) and (E) don't address why things might be any better in the future than they have been this past year under the more experienced team. Choice (C) is an irrelevant comparison.

Logical proof: the word "whether" is a clue that we can establish logical proof through analysis by cases. We can consider two extremes. If (D) is true, the company could, for example, simply not train the new salespeople at all when hiring experienced salespeople; if turnover is large, that could save a lot of money and improve the outcome. And if (D) is not true, it's a further reason to agree with the prediction in the argument.

The correct answer is (D).
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Re: Last year, Company X reconfigured its direct sales team to include mor   [#permalink] 25 Aug 2019, 01:06
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