Sales Force Accountability

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Sat, Dec 09, 2006 @ 23:12 PM

One of my clients  took a position as Worldwide VP of Sales at a very large, well known company.  He quickly learned that there hadn't been any accountability there for years.  Taking a page out of my accountability book, he quickly set clear expectations and communicated them daily.  He let everyone know what would be required in the way of performance, activity and reporting.  Then he gave everyone a deadline to comply.  The company's top salesperson, the one who had the biggest year over year sales, did not comply.  He was given several extensions and each time he failed to comply.  He was given a final warning with termination as the consequence.  Again he did not comply.  He was promptly terminated.

News of the unexpected action made its way around the sales force in record time.  The following weak, those who were already in compliance provided even more data in their reports.  Those who were complying but only minimally, were early and detailed, and the data indicated that everyone had performed more effectively than ever before.

For those of you who are afraid to hold their salespeople accountable, let this lesson prove that the worst that can happen is already happening.  In response to the likely, "What if it backfires?" question, how can it backfire any worse than most of your sales force making excuses and underperforming. 

"What if those underachievers leave?"  Lucky for you.  You won't have to terminate them.  That's the wrong question to ask, anyhow. 

You should be asking, "What if it works?  What if I can really do this?  How much better will things get and how quickly will we get there?"

Sales Force Accountability.  If you can do it in a huge company, think how much more effectively you can do it in a small or medium size company.

© Copyright 2006 Objective Management Group, Inc.

Topics: accountability

Subscribe via Email

View All 1,850 Articles

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

Email Dave

View Dave Kurlan's LinkedIn profile View Dave Kurlan's profile


Receive new articles via email
 to the Blog on your Kindle 



Most Recent Articles


Top 50 Sales & Marketing Blogs 2021

Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame Inductee




Top 50 most innovative sales bloggers


Hubspot Top 25 Blogs



Free Tools

Sales Process Grader

Sales Candidate Assessment Free Trial

Sales Ghost Calculator

Sales Force Grader

Sales Hiring Mistake Calculator

FREE Recruiting Process Grader