Merging Two Sales Forces for Greater Productivity

May 14, 2018

A multinational data storage corporation headquartered in Massachusetts – a subsidiary of one of the largest technology companies in the world - faced a challenge with merging sales organizations and distinctive cultures. The case study below outlines how Aon partnered with the organization to assess current job structures and develop new job descriptions, aligning the organization. 


Situation

It was the largest technology company merger in history and much was at stake in forming a combined 584 billion entity. The leadership was committed to making the two companies one before the merger was even complete — an aggressive plan for a merger this size. While the financial and business side of the merger was still in progress, the leadership called for the integration of the organization at high speed. This would entail the analysis of the job roles of more than 150,000 employees and creating a consistent job architecture and framework including job levels, salary structures, paid programs and job titles.

Challenge

The two companies had distinctly different cultures and sales organizations. The larger one, headed by a hands-on leader, was very hierarchical, while the other company was more flexible and entrepreneurial, with a flatter management structure. The larger company was leaner with lower salaries, and it sold to consumers and small businesses in a short sales cycle. The smaller one, on the other hand, paid its salespeople more as they sold much larger and more sophisticated systems to large customers with a relatively long sales cycle. A business integration of this size and complexity usually takes about 18 months. The goal: Accomplish this in six months or less.

Key deliverables included a detailed communications road-map, executive messaging material & training materials for the global HR organization.

Client Challenges

  • A merger between two technology companies formed an S84 billion entity
  • Distinct cultures, leadership style
  • Short timeframe

Aon Solution

Aon began working with the company in August 2016. Consultants were able to assess jobs and organize them quickly by leveraging the Radford job levels, which both companies used, in conjunction with dated submissions from both organizations. In addition, they wrote more than 1,800 job descriptions and classified them into 190 unique job families, each with its own hierarchy attached to the Radford levels. Along with workforce analytics and pay analytics, this informed efficient decisions concerning both market-based base pay and total target compensation across the new company.

Aligning the sales positions of the two companies, with their very different customer segments, required a closer look that took in the sales organization as a whole. For example, many roles seemed the same for both companies, but upon examination were seen to address significantly different kinds of customers with distinct sales cycles. Technology jobs also required a dedicated analysis and approach, as there tended to be many unique roles and other spec al circumstances.

Results

The Aon team, comprising people from multiple practices, wrote more than 2,000 detailed job descriptions in two months. The new job structure for the merged organization was created, integrating hierarchies and tying together the jobs as appropriate. Many employees transitioned to new or combined positions. This reinvention of the job structure resulted in synergies that enabled the company to reduce the workforce by 10%, in large part by retirement. What's more, the reconfiguring of a number of positions enabled many people to earn more while the company reduced overall compensation.

Key Results

  • 150,000 employees mapped into 17 job levels, globally (sales and non-sales)
  • 2,000 detailed job descriptions written in two months and included clear career paths and key success measures
  • 5 months to complete the 12 month project with a project team made up of four diverse practices
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