Thursday, 7 June 2012

Sack fast and hire slow!

An Ogilvy and Mather study of over 1,000 sales people has discovered that 87% of sales come from less than 23% of sales people.

What this means is that in many sales teams, most reps are less than effective. It is a small few, the sales cats, that are producing the bulk of the results.

So what should you do? 

Check! Check the results from your pipelines. Check your sales data. Work out who is getting the sales. These are the sales cats who build value based on relationships. The ones who bring good margins, strong revenue and don't rely on discounting behaviours. Asses and identify your stars, your mid-stars, the under performers and the slackers.

Sack the slackers fast. Tough but fair. They will thank you one day as it opens the opportunity for them to find the one thing that they can get passionate about and do well.

Re check the under performers and test them well. Challenge them to perform or leave.

Coach the mid-stars and inspire them to realize their full sales potential. Train them well and coach them on good sales behaviors.

Really coach your stars. Being stars does not mean they should be left alone. We often leave them alone because they are better at sales than the coach or sales manager. It may be time to get a better coach or learn better coaching skills. Your stars will continue to deliver great results.

When there are gaps to fill in your sales team, hire slow! Hire firstly for sales behaviors, then fit, and finally product knowledge. Hire great attitude because it's impossible to train. Hire based on the role models you already have – your stars.

Remember sack fast and hire slow.