tour-square-button The implications of this turnover at the top sales manager spot are many, which I will discuss in a moment.  However, I wanted to calibrate our sales consulting findings with other reliable data sources.  Last week, I called around to the major executive recruiting firms and spoke to the leaders of the Chief Sales Officer practices.  I have more bad news to report. I was told by most that the volume of searches for sales leaders has spiked in the last 60 days.  Equally troubling, these top tier recruiters are having a heck of a time finding sales talent capable of meeting the job spec. It seems CEO’s are wising up to what a real superstar looks like and the days of bullshitting your way into the top spot are over. 


What does this mean to you?

3 Implications of Losing Your Job Prior to Year End:


  1. Pay Cut – our sales consulting practice benchmarks compensation for CSO’s.  On Target Earnings have been trending down for 2 years.  If you have been in your current job for 2+ years, you are on a comp package that reflects a different business climate. It is almost certain you will take a pay hit, which could be upwards of 30%.
  2. Relocation – our sales consulting research compares job specifications from the past to the specs of today.  CEO’s are being very precise and location now matters to them. If you lose your job, you are likely to have to relocate your family to secure a new one.
  3. Raised Expectations – CEO’s will expect you to produce results inside of 6 months on the new job. The days of 12-18 month honeymoon periods are long gone.  You need a plan walking in the door. The sad truth is many sales leaders accepting new jobs don’t bring a plan with them, and, if they do have one, it is yesterday’s playbook.


If you think you might be getting “whacked”, here is what I recommend you do:


  • Have an authentic conversation with your boss – stop making excuses and pointing the finger. In the end, regardless of the reasons, if the numbers are not there, you failed. The CEO does not get a pass from the board when he misses the number. His head is on the block, just like yours. He is not going to give you a pass and accept the blah blah blah coming out of your mouth


    Walk into his office and say “I am failing. I need help.” I think you might be surprised at the reaction. My bet is the CEO will admire your courage and start collaborating with you on a solution inside of 10 minutes. If he doesn’t, quit. You do not want to work for this guy anyway


    A word of caution. If you have had this conversation many times before, don’t have it again. You have missed your opportunity. Move on.

  • Hire a sales consulting firm – I understand this recommendation is self-serving for I run a sales consulting firm.  Before you hit delete and unsubscribe to this blog, consider this


    Your exposure to solutions for your sales problems are limited to your industry, your company, and the actions of your competitors. In contrast, a sales consulting firm’s exposure to solutions to sales problems extends to multiple industries and thousands of companies. A sales consulting firm, simply through their spot in the ecosystem, has a much greater likelihood of solving these difficult problems than you do.  It is crowd sourcing applied to sales challenges.  If you hire a sales consulting firm, you get exposure to their library of best practices and scare tissue from previous projects.  If you are about to get fired, what do you have to lose?

  • Get a job at a sales consulting firm – you are getting fired because you failed to hit the numbers. Your attempts to fix the problem have failed.  If you accept a new job prior to learning how to be a problem solver, in about 18 months, you will be looking for yet another new job.  How does one learn problem solving skills? Get hired by a sales consulting firm known for solving the most difficult problems in the sales world.  Maybe consider applying to my firm.  This will rocket you to the center of the universe. You will learn the bleeding edge best practices of sales force effectiveness and be asked to apply them across the globe in dozens of industries.  After working alongside the best in the game, if you want to re-enter the corporate world, you will be much more likely to succeed.


I hope you do not lose your job. It will be painful to take a pay cut, relocate, and land in a new spot with super high expectations.  If you have an authentic conversation with the boss, and he rejects your request for hiring a sales consulting firm, check out Dan, John, Matt, and give me a call.  These guys are in the top 10% of the worldwide labor pool of sales leaders and have solved sales problems for the world’s leading companies.  They have all been where you are right now and reinvented themselves by building a career in sales consulting.


Follow @GregAlexander Follow @MakingTheNumber


Greg Alexander

Leads the firm's focus on the CEO’s role in accelerating revenue growth by getting the product team, the marketing department, and the sales organization into strategic alignment.

Greg is the host of The SBI Podcast, the most listened to sales and marketing podcast on the internet.


He is the host of SBI TV, a monthly television program broadcast on the internet featuring top B2B sales and marketing leader sharing their strategies to grow revenues.


Greg is the Editor-in-Chief of The SBI Magazine, the leading B2B publication focused on sales and marketing effectiveness.


He is the author of two critically acclaimed books Topgrading for Sales and Making the Number.


Greg has authored over 100 articles on SBI’s award winning blog, The SBI Blog.


He graduated from The University of Massachusetts Amherst with a BA in English and received his MBA from Georgia Tech.




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