Go Green: Stop throwing away expensive sales people.

Onboarding, Playbooks, and analytics are an effective method to avoid the destructive costs of high turnover in your sales department.


Recruitment is a very expensive proposition.  Most managers are very quick to point out the cost of keeping employees who  are not performing up to expectations, but they are not as aware of the enormous expense of recruiting new and replacement staff. Numbers vary, but for professional positions, estimates suggest it costs about 25% of the total of benefits and salary of the departing employee. The higher a position is ranked in the organization, the higher that percentage rises.  For the highest level executive positions, including sales, the figure can be well over 100% of annual salary and benefits. Even more strikingly, that number does not necessarily take in the lost productivity and revenue due to the vacancy and the ramp-up time for training after the hire.   In short, the recruitment process in its entirety is one of the most expensive facets of organizational staffing.  

So why am I bringing this up? It has a great deal to do with the waste that arises from how we manage our sales staff. 

 It’s been my experience that even some of the best sales managers and top level executives still operate on the assumption that sales success depends primarily on an individual's intuitive skills. They view sales as more of  an art than a science; selling skills are more nature than nurture. Accompanying this mindset, quite logically, may be an institutional willingness to quickly jettison low performing salespeople.  “They can’t cut  it so they need to get out.” This mindset is  also  easy to rationalize because sales is inherently  “numbers-based.”   

This is wrong. This is  an approach that wastes significant amounts of money and wastes human resources. There is too much reliance on these inherent skills and too little data driven and quantified analysis of what works best for your particular product in various sales situations. That means the managers are shirking their  obligation their to give their people what they need to succeed. Salespeople–like all employees–need the nurturing, onboarding and proven roadmaps for selling along the funnel. We can’t just  hope they’ll figure it out fast enough to stay on top of quotas. It doesn’t happen and then we experience  turnover as discouraged sales people leave or are pushed out. And that costs money. Lost and lots of money.

That’s why you should look carefully at the development of carefully designed and maintained playbooks. Sales playbooks should be based on accurately tracked data that defines what steps are most effective in pushing an individual lead along any portion of the sales funnel. That includes identifying which  assets work best in any particular situation. With guidance, you’ll find new sales people learn faster and succeed more frequently.

Remember: recruiting is expensive. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hello! Thanks for visiting the Mindmatrix Sales Enablement Blog. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question...

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.