Oh, and while you have to face the challenge of ramping a new rep.  We find numerous obstacles Sales VPs and Sales Managers face.  Some common concerns we hear when trying to pull this off:

 

  • Getting a replacement requisition approved through Finance and HR.
  • Timing the market by switching out one rep for the other ‘over the weekend.’
  • Doing it smoothly without worrying about missing quota.
  • Finding a hole in the hiring freeze that allows you to ‘slip’ a new hire in place.

 

new a player guideThis is called sales hiring gymnastics.  It causes you to flip, bounce and leap over ‘political’ obstacles.  It wastes time and costs sales.

 

Every year we compile research for our Sales & Marketing Research Review.  Conducting over 5,400 Sales Management surveys and interviewing 600+ executives gave us new insight.  It told us all sales leaders have faced this challenge.  The challenge is replacing reps when everyone else is throwing up roadblocks. Download our Sales Rep Replacement Guide.  This guide will give you the best practices to eliminate those ‘C’ players. The Sales Rep Replacement Guide is a robust tool that:

 

  • Enables you to ‘switch’ out sales reps without a disruption to the team
  • Guidance how to protect your sales ensuring you ‘make the number’
  • Meets the requirements of other corporate departments (i.e. HR)
  • Insert the new ‘A’ player competencies (i.e. Social Reach, Insight Generation, Lead Management)
  • Eliminate the ‘Bad Breath is better than No Breath’ conundrum most Sales VPs face

 

Sales Rep Replacement Guide

 

Common solutions to eliminating the problems replacing poor performers are simple.  But they take extra work that most of us can’t fit into our schedule.  Three easy ways to help eliminate this pain:

 

  1. Calculate the Cost of Doing Nothing:  Replacing a poor hire can cost a Sales Organization over $325,000. But keeping them around can lead to over $1mm in lost dollars.  This figure equates to lost wages, lost expenses and most importantly missed opportunities.  The first step in streamlining your replacement is nailing this cost.  This is often referred to as the cost of Miss-Hire.  Take it further and calculate keeping this poor performer around.  It affects the other sales people on your team. Bad morale, poor advice and lousy strategy can lead to lost sales.

     

  2. Build a Social Bench: Social benches are LinkedIn connections that are tagged as potential ‘A’ players.  Tagging is identifying your connections by a title or profile in Linked In.  Tagging great sales people as a potential ‘A’ Players allows you to nurture them.  This gets them excited about the job.  Then when a position might become available, you already have a list of candidates.  All you need to do is reach out to your tagged Linked In connections and move quickly.  Remember the rule of 3.  You need 3 social bench candidates for every potential open position.  Have 2 poor performers on your team you need to replace? You need 6 candidates.

     

  3. Re-Target Lost Deals.  Get into your CRM and re-assess those opportunities that are lost.  Most of these deals can be re-engaged because of the poor selling skills used.  Fire up your Big Deal Strategy template and strategize with the new rep.  Examine every opportunity that was lost by the old rep.  You won’t win all of them but can salvage some.  Selling even one deal reduces the cost of miss-hire while making your number.

     

Implementing these 3 actions requires a full 3 months.  The steps below will help you get started:

 

  • Calculate the cost of miss-hire with your Sr. VP of Sales, CFO and HR CHRO.  Anyone else doesn’t make it creditable and you can appear to ‘fudge’ the numbers.  Make sure you come armed with the lost sales caused due to their inability.
  • Reach out on Linked In to start building a social bench.  Download our recent Linked In Virtual/Social Bench Scoring Tool.  It is a great first step to establish a social bench.
  • Set up a strategic review with your CEO and CSO.  Review the Cost of Doing Nothing numbers. Show them the detailed exit plan for the poor performing reps.  Review with them the Linked In Profiles of your social bench candidates.  You can quickly turn the poor rep for a new ‘A’ player.

 

Don’t be stuck with ‘bad breath is better than no breath.’  Overcome administrative and political obstacles.  Terminate your poor players and replace them easily.  You can’t make the 2014 number unless you take action soon. Start with downloading the Sales Rep Replacement Guide.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Perry

Intensely focused on helping sales and marketing leaders in B2B companies make their numbers at SBI.
Learn more about Dan Perry >

Dan approaches the idea of making your number from a unique perspective. Like many SBI leaders, he has walked a mile in your shoes. He comes from the industry side and has had to make his number to be successful. Perhaps this is why it’s wise to rely on SBI’s evidence-based methodologies. Though SBI is certainly an execution-based firm, Dan only implements strategies and solutions for his clients after they have been verified with before-and-after data. This leads to adoption of sales programs in the field, rather than shelf-ware.

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