Tenure – Could it Possibly Be a Good Thing for your Sales Force?

How do you feel about tenure?  Is it ever a good thing?  Is there value in helping people feel secure about their employment stability and financial future?

To a point.  It’s good when people feel positive about their situation, allowing them to perform their most brilliant work.  It’s bad when their sense of permanence causes them to do as little as possible.  It’s good when it makes the company appear stable to those prospective companies who would consider doing business with you.  It’s bad when their sense of entitlement causes them to believe that the work that must be done is now beneath them.  And so goes the tenure argument.

What about tenure with salespeople?

I am not aware of any company that awards their salespeople with tenure.  That said, many companies may as well be dishing out tenure with some of the silly things that they do.  Here are ten examples where the company’s philosophies have the same effect as tenure:

  1. Salespeople can only be terminated for lying, stealing or cheating;
  2. Quotas are negotiated;
  3. Under performance does not cause a reprimand or termination;
  4. Quotas are only guidelines and are not enforced;
  5. Salespeople who migrate to account management in lieu of new business development are not confronted;
  6. Compensation is salary with little or no bonus or commission;
  7. Management defends and protects bad hiring decisions;
  8. Salespeople are left to their own devices – for better or for worse;
  9. Company is reluctant to develop a true sales culture;
  10. Salespeople are considered family.
Can you think of any additional examples?