- October 21, 2022
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
If you aren’t aware of the crime taking place in most of America’s big cities, you have either been living in a cave or experiencing willful ignorance. Most of the alleged criminals are repeat offenders and those who are arrested are usually back on the street committing additional crimes later that day due to cashless bail and the presumption of innocence.
If you think about it, and you don’t have to think very long or hard, cashless bail mirrors how companies deal with under-performing salespeople who are also repeat offenders. Let me explain.
A typical US sales team consists of 15 people, including a Sales VP, 2 Regional Sales Managers, and 12 salespeople. Of course, there are exponentially larger and smaller sales teams, but this is the version that we most frequently encounter. This team will have no more than 3 performing salespeople, another 3 who sometimes hit their numbers, and 6 who chronically under-perform.
Let’s assume that the salespeople who are ranked 10-12 are not just under-performers, but pathetically ineffective salespeople. At the end of the year, they receive their annual review – the equivalent of an arrest and release – and are back on the street to underperform for another year, making the company both both the victim and the enabler. This is insanity!
While some could argue that this is happening because it is so difficult to find sales candidates and harder still to find good ones. The argument doesn’t hold up because while the current labor market is consistent with the lack of quality sales candidates, the practice of rewarding sucky salespeople with continued employment has been around as long as I have!
Three contributing factors to this practice are relationships, ego and hope.
Most sales leaders aren’t comfortable terminating salespeople with whom they have developed a strong relationship. Their ego doesn’t allow them to terminate ineffective salespeople because it would be an admission of a hiring mistake and ineffective coaching. And they hope that this will be a breakout year for these salespeople.
OMG’s (Objective Management Group) Sales Team Evaluation provides leaders with science-backed data to know which under-performers can be trained and coached up, how much better they can become, what kind of help they will need to achieve those improvements, and how long it will take. Isn’t that better than hope?
While it helps to train and coach up those who can improve and identify those who can’t, the other way to address this issue is to fix the sales hiring problem. It’s time to stop using gut instinct, personality assessments that weren’t designed for sales, faulty sales recruiting processes, and resumes as a basis for hiring salespeople. These practices are at best hit or miss with an emphasis on miss, and examples of ego getting in the way of methodically making good sales hiring decisions. OMG’s legendary sales candidate assessments are customizable, accurate and most importantly, predictive of sales success in the specific sales role for which the company is hiring.
Several White Papers on these topics are available as a free download here.
You can request samples here.
You can see the 21 Sales Core Competencies OMG measures here. Each core competency has an average of 10 attributes for a total of around 200 scores/findings per salesperson.
You can request more information here.
After an OMG evaluation of his sales team, one of the regional sales managers pushed back and said the OMG evaluations were wrong. The scores were not very good for his top salesperson despite the fact that he sold the company’s biggest deal last year and just made president’s club. I asked some questions and learned that this salesperson’s big deal was his only decent sale in 6 years and his sales manager actually closed the heavily discounted deal. I asked the sales manager which was more indicative of who his salesperson really was – the 6 years of under-performance or the one deal that his salesperson received the credit for? After a minute of hemming and hawing, he admitted it was the 6 years. Then I asked which was a more accurate evaluation of that salesperson – the OMG evaluation or his own evaluation. After another round of hems and haws and he admitted it was the OMG evaluation.
The best investment you can make to improve sales performance is to use OMG’s suite of sales team evaluations and candidate assessments. They are the Gold Standard.
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