Hire Right – Fire Fast!

Stop hanging on to poor sales performers!

It’s becoming increasingly apparent to me that sales leaders hesitate far too much when it comes to getting rid of their dead weight. In fact, this is a common element I come across in many dysfunctional sales teams I observe.

Wondering if, perhaps, this is something you might be guilty of yourself?

If your mindset is leaving slacking sales reps as “placeholders” until you can get around to finding someone else – sorry, you’re guilty!

I will be blunt.

If you turn the other cheek when it comes to poor performers, you’re poisoning your organization.

You will unleash accelerated sales results, engagement and overall performance in the rest of your sales team when you have the courage to cut the cord with chronically poor performers.

To be absolutely clear, these are three telltale signs you have one of these individuals on your team:

  1. They are constantly demonstrating poor performance.
  2. They refuse to change their ways.
  3. Their overall attitude is negative.

An organization can attempt to update processes, try new strategies, execute new plans – but all of these approaches will do little to no good if the same poor performers are the ones in charge of implementing the changes!

All you may need to grow your sales this year is a more efficient hiring process, and a quicker response to dead weight!

What’s your telltale sign that a sales rep isn’t a good fit on your team? Let me know in the comments.

3 responses to “Hire Right – Fire Fast!

  1. I wholeheartedly agree that a lot of managers (and entire companies) hold on to low performers for far too long. When you know, you know. But, when do you know? I don’t think we can say that everyone should fire “faster.” I think it’s on a case by case and more about 2 and 3 in your post than number 1. Because 1 (performance) can be affected by so many things – it’s not always because 2-effort or 3-attitude. Out of effort and attitude, I focus most on attitude. If they’re dragging everyone’s energy down around them, they’re hurting more than just their goals. But if you have someone with a great attitude, I’ve experienced that those people will at least try to up effort for a time. So, I agree if performance continues to lack after there’s been clear communication, they’ve taken all the training they’re required to, and you’ve given them time to improve, it’s time for them to seek another position where both you and they will be happier.

  2. I agree @Mitch. Also, the key word is ‘chronically’ poor performers. You cannot rush to exit a person after a bad quarter or 2, you need to understand the causes and do your job as a manager and coach to give them the best chance to succeed. I agree that you need to hire fast but also be sure you interview well and get the right hires and monitor closely during the probationary period and extend the probationary period (once only with clear objectives to improve) if you are not entirely happy.

  3. Historically managers have spent far to long hanging on to people they know are never going to make it. Managers need to have an objective set of measurements (KPI) that they can use to determin when sellers need to be let go. Too many managers think they can save everyone….when not everyone can, or wants to be saved.

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