By Mike Kennedy, Technical Evangelist
Talent Analytics, Corp.
Consider the following M&A story. “Big Green” acquires “Little Green”. Big Green has big customers with a long and complex sales process. Average Big Green deal size is $1 million and takes 12 months. Big Green’s sales reps need to be patient and collaborative (account management) sales team – a “farmer” mindset.
Little Green’s top sales reps close 2 new $10,000 deals every month. They manage a huge number of leads in their pipeline at all times. They are hustling at all times to move someone into the close position. They are known as “hunters” and chase down new business with a constant sense of urgency.
Big Green has made the decision to combine the sales teams – where all sales reps sell all products. Big Green expects all sales reps to adapt to the new longer and shorter sales cycles. The integration team has done a great job of conducting extensive sales training for both sales organizations.
What happens next is puzzling. Sales Managers notice that Big Green reps are struggling to maintain the “pace” they need to close smaller Little Green deals – and that Little Green Reps are struggling to sell Larger Big Green deals. Sales managers are flummoxed for reasons why both sets of top performers are struggling given they were consistently superstars before.
This scenario happens far too often in M&A post merger integration costing the acquiring organization millions of dollars in sales, coaching time, mentoring time, lost productivity, customer dissatisfaction, eventual reorganization and the likely defection of prior top performers.
Surprisingly, this scenario is rather easy to predict and avoid.
Imagine if Big Green’s integration team used talent analytics to understand the characteristics of both Big and Little Green’s top performing sales reps. Within minutes (not days or weeks) talent analytics could have helped the integration team visualize strengths and challenges, highlight potential issues and make a decision about whether or not to merge the 2 sales teams or keep them as separate organizations.
Making talent related issues during M&A due diligence or post merger integration is like making blind decisions without using talent analytics solutions as part of the equation.