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AReport on the case

WENDY PETERSON
Submitted to

Prof. Madhusri Shrivastava


In the partial fulfilment of WAC Course
On Feb 3, 2016

Submitted
by:

Aditi Jain
2015
PGP002

Memo of Transmittal
To
Prof. Madhusri Shrivastava
IIM Indore
From:
Aditi Jain
PGP 2015-17 Batch
IIM Sambalpur
Odisha
Date: 03/02/2016
Sub: Submission of report on Wendy Peterson.
As instructed by you, I have completed the analysis of the case, Wendy Peterson.
Based on the information provided, it is recommended that Wendy should put some
conditions in place for Wu to get an assistant so that it is a mutually beneficial
decision for both of them.

If you need any further clarifications, I will be available for discussion as per your
convenience.

Aditi Jain
PGP 2015-17 Batch
IIM Sambalpur

Aditi Jain
2015PGP002

Contents

Executive Summary.................................................................................................... 1
Situation Analysis....................................................................................................... 2
Problem Statement..................................................................................................... 3
Options....................................................................................................................... 3
Criteria for Evaluation................................................................................................. 3
Evaluation of Options................................................................................................. 4
Recommendation....................................................................................................... 5
Action Plan.................................................................................................................. 5

Aditi Jain
2015PGP002

Executive Summary
Wendy Peterson, Vice President of sales at Texas office of AccountBack, has concerns regarding
her employee Fred Wu. He had signed his regional team's largest client, but Peterson was
worried about his behavior and disconnection in their working relationship. Wus working style
does not match with hers and he has requested an assistant which Wendy perceives as
unreasonable. Wendy can either cave in to his demand, fire him or can come up with another
alternative. It is recommended that Wendy should put some conditions in place for Wu to get an
assistant so that it is a mutually beneficial decision for both of them.

Aditi Jain
2015PGP002

Situation Analysis
Wendy Peterson, Vice president of sales for AccountBacks Plano, Texas, office, was conducting
the annual review of one of her direct reports, Fred Wu. She had concerns with him despite his
impressive performance. Wu had recently signed the regions largest client and promoted
AccountBack among Chinese business community. Wendy could not connect with Wu on a
personal level. He didnt fit with Petersons working style. Lastly, he was requesting a personal
sales assistant which had earlier been provided to only the most senior salespeople.
AccountBack was a firm that provided back-office accounting software for small and medium
sized businesses. Gradually, AccountBack became successful and its client renewal rate became
25% above the industry average and retained client for at least 4 years. Wendy, an Ivy League
graduate, a tireless worker with a curious mind, was promoted to the position of Vice president
of Sales. Her stellar performance as a junior manager and image as a doer helped her in getting
this new position. She received mixed reviews form her reports. According to one of her direct
reports, she energized the office and promoted a collegial atmosphere in and out of office.
However some of them disliked her overzealous attitude and hands-on approach.
As Chinese entrepreneurs were sprouting in Plano, Wendy planned to penetrate the Chinese
market. To do so she hired a new salesperson Fred (Xing) Wu despite his having little experience
in software sales. He was successful as an entrepreneur and eager to learn. She was impressed
with his access to executives of targeted companies and his connection to his Chinese roots.
During the first month Wu arrived early and stayed late in office every day. He was praised
across the company for his dedication, curiosity and attention to detail.
In an unprecedented move, Wendy even amended Wus sales goal target from three months to six
months as she thought that his circumstances was special and he was dealing with Chinese
customers who were reluctant to sign any deal until they have established close personal ties
with someone. Once his sales efforts commenced, inconsistencies in his performance started
showing. He wasnt available in office for most of the time and said that he had face-to-face
meetings, luncheons and networking events. He didnt do cold calling and administrative work
so Wendy couldnt keep in contact with him like the rest of her employees. He also didnt update
the new sales tool which Wendy used to keep track of sales activities despite knowing it well.
Aditi Jain
2015PGP002

Wendy was tensed with Wus work habits and performance. He had nothing to show on his credit
despite being a part of the firm for 4 months and had generated no revenue till now. When
enquired about this, he would say that he was still in the discovery phase. He showed suspicious
behavior like never attending any calls at his desk and not introducing his friend to anyone in
office when he came to visit. He was very private with his life, never communicated on anything
other than his work.
Wu signed his first deal after 8 months with the single largest client of the region. Wendy and the
team were impressed with his success. She now expected him to get on with new clients. But he
resisted handling over his client to account service team and wanted to get involved with every
activity of the client. His constant supervision was a hindrance to teams efficiency. He also sold
additional add-on services without taking Wendys approval which fueled Wendys suspicion that
Wu was intentionally withholding information from her. It was also against companys policy.
When she questioned him about his intentions, he cited clients request as proof.
He also requested for an assistant and informed Wendy that he has been approached by
competitive firm about an opportunity.

Problem Statement
What should be Wendys decision, to retain Wu and cave in to his demand, to fire him or try
some other alternative?

Options

Accept Wus demands and retain him


Fire him
Put some conditions on him to get an assistant

Criteria for Evaluation

Implication on Firms revenue


Effect on the culture of firm
Loss of perspective clients

Evaluation of Options
Aditi Jain
2015PGP002

Options / Criteria

Accept

Wus

Implication on

Effect on the

Loss of perspective

Firms revenue

culture of firm

clients

Will increase

will take a hit

No loss

Yes, negative

Strengthens the

Yes ,huge chance

demands and retain


him

Fire him

Put
conditions

culture

some
on

It may increase

Some effect but not

No loss if Wu is

to a great extent

retained

him to get an
assistant

Option 1: Accept Wus demands and retain him


This option would mean caving in to Wus demands and provide him an assistant So that he
wouldnt leave AccountBank and would try to seal the deal with three major clients that can
generate targeted revenue of 40% for Plano office. But this option would put an employees
interest over office culture .Other employees may feel that it is all right to be flexible towards
office culture. There will be no loss of perspective clients

Option 2: Fire Wu
If Wendy fires Wu ,Plano office may not be able to achieve its revenue targets. After terminating
Wu, Wendy should start looking for a replacement to achieve the targets. This option will
strengthen the office culture as employees will think that no single person is above the existing
office culture. Choosing this option may turn out to be bad for Wendys career as she may not be
able to keep her agreement of 40% revenue. Wu may also take perspective clients with him.

Option 3: Put some conditions on him to get an assistant


Aditi Jain
2015PGP002

Wendy can actually take the middle route with Wu. She can set some conditions before him and
only upon fulfillment of these conditions; an assistant can be provided to Wu. He will take the
assistant with him in meeting with his clients and the assistant will report to Wendy. Also, he
needs to land another client first before he gets an assistant. By this option, she can achieve her
target to some extent without loss of clients

Recommendation
Based on the above analysis, I would recommend that Wendy should put some conditions in
place for Wu in order to get an assistant. In this way, she can achieve her target also and satisfy
Wus demand to some extent to retain him.

Action Plan

Wendy should communicate with Wu about the situation and understand his point of
view.
She can think of conditions that Wu need to follow in order to get an assistant.
Next Wendy should discuss these conditions with Wu and both need to come at a mutual
agreement.
Wendy should provide an assistant to Wu and he should follow the conditions put
forward by Wendy.

Aditi Jain
2015PGP002