Linq Analytics Use Case: Mitigating Cost of Rep Conflict

One of the core use cases of leveraging a Master Data Management Lite framework is to help identify and remediate potential sales conflicts across enterprise customers as early as possible. The opportunity cost of conflict can be significant, and in the case of post-merger integrations, it can lead to significant value erosion of both expected cost synergies and potential revenue acceleration. 

Consider the following example from one of our Clients. In the image below, the primary Salesforce org has over 200 unique accounts dedicated to Dell Technologies under a single enterprise account executive. As this client completed a new acquisition, the acquired company had ~50 additional accounts across the Dell entity, with two sales reps aligned regionally and a third representative handling VMWare. Once the acquisition closed, there were now 4 account executives active within Dell, handling multiple ongoing and open opportunities.

In situations like this, it is common to see significant amounts of sales organization time and energy spent sorting out who owns what, particularly if and when individual buyer relationships overlap. And understandably so, as each account executive has their individual compensation at stake, and organizations cannot afford to sacrifice the cost of double compensation for every opportunity across every enterprise customer. As a result, the Sales Operations team is often forced to manage the conflict and make tough calls on account and opportunity ownership – these decisions take time, can leave account executives fuming, and impact morale and future productivity.

To give Clients the ability to be proactive about these conflicts, the Linq Account Hierarchy Manager solution uses a set of dashboards and in-app views that help highlight these scenarios for Sales and Sales Operations leaders before they become an issue. We can leverage additional contextual data around historical opportunities and bookings in that entity, recent rep performance, and depth of relationships to suggest account ownership recommendations, and then we can apply those decisions to aid in lead matching for future activity. This can help avoid hundreds of thousands of dollars of inefficiency annually in both the sales organization and in sales operations.

To understand your own potential cost of conflict over the course of a year, use the math and hypothetical example below:

  • Average account executive quota: $1.5MM/year
  • Hourly quota retirement (based on 2000 hours in a year): $1.5MM / 2000 hours = $750/hour
  • Hours of lost productivity for a given conflict event: 1 hour
  • Number of reps involved per event: 2
  • Cost per event: $750 * 2 = $1,500
  • Number of conflict events in a given quarter: 100
  • Cost per quarter: $1,500 * 100 = $150,000
  • Cost per year: $150,000 * 4 = $600,000/year

A software solution alone won’t solve this problem in isolation: process changes often are required in addition to the technology. But a solution like Linq will help significantly reduce the number of events and time spent per event. A recent client estimated ~$500K in annual cost savings with a target to capture 50% of those savings in year one.

Although each of these events may seem small in isolation, the total opportunity available in addressing this issue helps drive the return on investment of the technology purchase. Most importantly, it enables sales, analytics, and operations resources to remain focused on the activities that derive the greatest value for our Clients.