How Do Companies Retain Their Underperforming Salespeople?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 @ 05:04 AM

I explain the difference between lousy salespeople and good salespeople in terms of line items and investments in this article.

Tony Cole was my guest on this week's episode of Meet the Sales Experts.  Among his many helpful tips was his "Where's Waldo" exercise.  He asked a great question about under performers.  "Did you hire them that way or did you make them that way?"  He talked about his new book, (available in January 2011), Resurrecting Anthony, and 6 Tips for success.  He said that the Fundamentals don't change much and that you must:

  1. Set unbelievable goals
  2. Hold yourself accountable
  3. Be willing to change
  4. Don't let the small stuff get to you
  5. Stay healthy
  6. Have a great partner in life

Click here to listen to the episode with Tony Cole.

Last month I published 3 articles and a white paper on Sales Longevity - The Science of Predicting Sales Turnover.  In one of the articles and in the White Paper, I identified the 5 primary factors that impact turnover.  Yesterday, while reviewing the findings and answers from a Sales Force Evaluation with a client, the conversation turned to the possibility of replacing some of their reps.  As we began to talk about the 5 factors, they wondered how they were able to retain these people who, for the most part, weren't very good and weren't a very good fit for the roles they were in.  Three of the factors came up big in explaining why the tenure of their 9 salespeople:

  1. Figure it Out Factor - all of there salespeople had FIOF's of below 50.  My research shows that while people with a FIOF over 75 ramp up more quickly, people with lower FIOF's can be retained longer.
  2. Sales Quotient - most of their salespeople had SQ's between 110 and 135.  My research shows that the best salespeople have SQ's over 145 but that salespeople with SQ's between 110 and 130 can be retained longer.
  3. Experience - most of their salespeople are very experienced.  My research shows that you are much more likely to retain people with at least 5 years of experience than those with less experience.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales force evaluation, sales recruiting, sales management, Sales Force, sales turnover, retaining salespeople, sales assessments

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About Dave

Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader,  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for nine consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave

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