Customer Experience News & Trends

Don’t let your salespeople see this

Some experts think you should fire a third of your sales force —  and that you should make it an annual practice. 

Companies perform certain tasks every year: They conduct an internal audit, box up old records for storage, file their tax returns and … fire a good chunk of their sales force?

Most organizations probably don’t do the last task on this list. But there are some people in the field of sales management who believe that’s your best route to a significant uptick in business results.

The benchmark to shoot for: Turnover 20%-35% of your salespeople every 12-18 months.

Here’s why it’s not as crazy as it sounds.

When pressed, you and other members of the management team could probably come up with a list of salespeople who aren’t quite cutting the mustard. Yet they continue to linger on your payroll, quarter after quarter, just the same.

The reason? They’re salespeople, after all, so they’re pretty persuasive:

  • They’re this close to closing a huge deal.
  • They have a pipeline full of extremely promising prospects.
  • It’s the economy that’s killing everybody.

And yet, they still don’t quite hit the numbers you’re hoping for.

Time to crank up the heat. Now’s the time to make sure salespeople have clear goals set for them and that you’re tracking who’s meeting expectations and who isn’t up to snuff.  Your finance folks can certainly help you here to be sure projections are in line with the current economic situation and the conditions in your specific industry.

Then, when people still aren’t making the numbers you expect from them, it could well be time to let them go.

True, it costs your company money to bring new employees on board. But a more motivated and better performing sales force will more than make up for the costs of recruiting and training.

Not to mention the impact this get-tough approach will have on the salespeople who made the cut. They’ll undoubtedly be less likely to let their numbers slip when they know it could mean a pink slip.

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