Bench Strength - The Key to Replacing Salespeople

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Jul 19, 2010 @ 07:07 AM

bberrorEarlier this summer I wrote about how the Red Sox are decimated by injuries.  It's not so much that they have 11 starters on the disabled list as much as it's about their replacement players and whether they could hold things together. 

Yesterday, two of those replacements, failed to make 4 plays that led to all of the Texas runs.

In baseball, physical errors happen but managers go nuts when mental errors are made and yesterday's errors were all mental - the kinds that rookies usually make.

When you lose salespeople through retirement, resignation, defection or termination, do you have an adequate bench or minor league or do you rely on free agent signings?

When you send your replacements into the field, are your fingers crossed hoping they don't make mental errors that help competitors close business or are you confident because your replacements are better than those you replaced?

Those are the two keys right there: 

  1. You must always have replacements available so you must always be recruiting.
  2. Your replacements must always be better than those you replaced.  Never compromise.

If you aren't allowed to compromise but must have replacements ready to go, that could certainly put a lot of pressure on your company's ability to recruit quickly. But if you have an effective, on-going sales recruiting process and employ best practices throughout, your next hire could be last week's great interview or today's great phone conversation.

Don't put yourself in a position where you have to worry about your new salespeople.  Once they're on board, make sure you have a structured, effective 90-day ramp-up program to assure they succeed instead of setting them up for failure.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales recruiting, sales candidates, hiring salespeople, sales management function

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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 eight 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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